I found today’s news that the Blackberry Curve outsold the iPhone during the first quarter of this year not surprising. Nor do I think it speaks to disparities in functionality between the two, but to the fact that service and flexibility still outweigh touch screens and gadgets.
Whether you’re a believer that Blackberries are better than iPhones, or visa versa, is a matter of personal choice, but RIM clearly holds an advantage in that four major carriers sell the Curve, while AT&T holds exclusive rights with the iPhone.
In the past year, wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless have made much of the notion that they are willing to embrace a more open attitude toward consumers, promising to allow them to buy full-priced mobile phones and use them on the network of their choosing. But AT&T and Apple’s decision to lock the iPhone down undermines progress towards an open network future…and is clearly hurting iPhone sales in the process.
It’s a business model where phones are subsidized by service providers, customers are locked into long-term contracts and subject to stiff penalties for cancelling early.
That said, there are rumors circulating that Apple is cooking up a deal to bring the iPhone to Verizon Wireless. It that comes to pass, iPhone sales could get a big boost and would be a big step in the right direction.