The research behind iPhone and BlackBerry comparisons that is making its way into the mainstream media is almost always flawed. The media loves to talk about the prolific nature of the iPhone and how technologically advanced its users are, while almost implicitly ragging on BlackBerry.
The study shows that about 72% of iPhone users are likely to have downloaded at least 10 third-party apps, but 73% of BlackBerry users have picked up five apps or less. The researchers add that iPhone owners are more willing to buy their apps than BlackBerry owners.
When it comes to downloading third party apps, this study failed to recognize that bulk apps, shouldn’t be recognized as multiple applications. They are essentially the same app, templated and replicated by changing a few small pieces of data. This is where RIM shines in that App World isn’t filled with the same amount of useless garbage.
With regards to social networking, the researchers found that roughly 71% of Apple users have a Facebook account versus 44% of BlackBerry users. Twitter follows a similar trend with 26% for iPhone versus 15% for BlackBerry.
Social networking discrepancies is a demographics issue, not a device issue as the research implies. While BlackBerry is moving its focus to the consumer market, it still has years of enterprise users behind it and this could be skewing the numbers. In the end, we all know that the BlackBerry is an incredibly powerful social networking tool. Whether or not the older BlackBerry demographic is using these services is another matter.
One element of the research that I find particularly flawed, is the research that says 83 percent of users prefer apps that cost below $5. This is a consistent mistake that researchers make. They think that just because you have asked someone what they want to pay for something, that that information is somehow valuable. The truth is that everyone wants to pay the minimum, and if possible, get it for free. The reality of the situation is that if your app is well designed and provides a tangible benefit to the user, the $5 benchmark is meaningless. Just look at TetherBerry, it’s a $50 application that is one of Mobihand’s best sellers.