Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledges BlackBerry data efficiency and admits carriers actually care about it

Tim Cook
By Chris Umiastowski on 25 Apr 2012 05:31 pm EDT

Last night, while covering the Apple Q2 results for iMore, I heard Tim Cook say something that I don't ever quite recall anyone from Apple ever saying before.

In response to a question about carrier subsidies on iPhones, and potential pressure, Cook said the following as part of his reply:

"Our engineering teams work extremely hard to be efficient with data and differently than some others. And we believe as a result of this iPhone has far better data efficiently compared to other smartphone that are using sort of an app rich ecosystem. Finally, and this is most important, iPhone is the best smartphone on the planet to entice a customer who is currently using a traditional mobile phone to upgrade to a smartphone. This is by far the largest opportunity for Apple, for our carrier partners and its a great fantastic experience for customers. So its a win win win there"

Sure, he didn't actually say "BlackBerry" anywhere. But his wording was carefully chosen, as usual. He said Apple is more efficient than other "app rich" ecosystems, meaning Android. By saying this, he clearly recognizes BlackBerry is more efficient.

But what surprised me even more was how he even acknowledged the importance of data efficiency at all. In some ways its nice to see Apple acknowledge the importance of something that RIM has been so good at for so long. But it's also clear that consumers don't really care that much about data efficiency.

I included the second part of Cook's quote to remind RIM how important it is to compete at the top. Apple is not just going after the smartphone market. They're going after the entire mobile market.

Reader comments

Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledges BlackBerry data efficiency and admits carriers actually care about it


I do not see it either. All I see is him talking about how in his limited and bias opinion that the itoy is the most superior smartphone on the market. Which in my opinion andriod is better then itoy it only lacks in security. However I will always have a BB and can't wait for BB10 phones. To me BB is and always be the best and my choice in a communication device

BlackBerry Torch 9860 and PlayBook

Even that Apple is admitting that data efficiency on smartphones exists is acknowledging BlackBerry. BlackBerry was only device that did anything to compress data. DataSmart is one of the things RIM actually promoted. Apple bringing this up means that carriers are talking about it. Otherwise, Apple wouldn't mention this. It's particularly important as more people get smartphones. Of course, we now have something called iData and Apple came up with it.

While I usually think Chris brings great insights, this feels like a stretch to me.

Further, if you think the idea of 'data efficiency' is important to bringing the consume market to smartphones, you're misreading consumers. They'll see it as a technobabble term.

They care about media, ease of use, a "cool" factor, and a great camera. "Data Efficiency" wouldn't make a top fifty list for most consumers.

I'm usually more comfortable with Chris' articles...but this one is a know...

So you take something a person didn't say and claims that by saying his product is better at something than some other products and say he admitted his product is inferior to some other product just because he didn't say anything about it?

um...I think he didn't mention BlackBerry not because he silently acknowledged BlackBerry is superior, but because he thought no one in the audience cares about BlackBerry and possibly BlackBerry never even came to his mind...

and then in the end "he even acknowledged the importance of data efficiency at all. In some ways its nice to see Apple acknowledge the importance of something that RIM has been so good at for so long. But it's also clear that consumers don't really care that much about data efficiency. "....

what is the point of the article really...

to show us something this man didn't say and how it doesn't matter to people?!?

Do they still let you come on here and rant with your useless thoughts? When was the last time you said anything that was even remotely positive for RIM? NEVER.

@JackKennedy -

You fade some heat around here for not measuring up to true fanboy status, but many times your perspective is correct. I'm not a fanboy, but neither am I a hater. I could love the Blackberry if it didn't have so many issues - mostly self-inflicted by RIM.

FWIW, I agree with your assessment of this article - mainstream everyone considers BB a "has been" and therefore it didn't really even cross his mind.

Everyone knows iOS are data hogs, that's a good and a bad thing if your a carrier, or a customer.

If iOS could compress data and use a BBM type apps, it would be the end for BB at my office...33% cost savings is huge with 3000 devices within our network.


What Tim Cook ACTUALLY said:
iPhone has far better data efficiently compared to other smartphone that are using sort of an app rich ecosystem.

What Tim Cook COULD'VE said:
iPhone has far better data efficiently compared to other smartphone. (lie)

It's a careful use of words without admitting BlackBerry is more efficient with data.

At first i also like others thinking that this article is pointless and could not really understand what it meant by 'iphone has far better data efficiently compare to other smartphone that are using sort of an app rich ecosystem' mean he admitted BB is more efficient.. its like huh????

but you have made it clearer ^^. The fact that Tim mentioned very specific smartphone (only those that use app rich ecosystem--android) means that Iphone is still inferior to other smartphone that is not using app rich ecosystem, which is Blackberry. (although i thought Blackberry also sort of using app rich ecosystem?)

The fact that he mentioned the importance of data efficiency really points towards blackberry because i don't think any android manufacturer even bother to mentioned about the importance of this.


Although im a big big blackberry n crackberry fan, user of bb for years n first one in my university (made 5 ppl buy after me) to buy playbook. BUT this post made me fall of the chair, like seriously now we will go to this level to prove BB is better? OFCOURSE we know BB is better in data transmission and everything, but picking up a statement and putting this kind of title on your post is way exaggerating. Your title suggests that tim cook discussed with you his thoughts before or after saying that statement.

I mean no disrespect to the author but please choose your words carefully when posting, and don't give others a chance to laugh on BB lovers!

Chris, you have said in the past all phones will be smartphones in the near future. Currently it's Android in the low-end, mid-tier, and high-end of the market. Apple is taking the cream off the top at the high-end of the market with 35 million phones in the last quarter.

Currently, RIM is focusing on low-end in emerging markets and mid-tier market in the rest of the world. Hopefully BBOS 10 will return RIM to the high end of the market.

I have to agree. I'm not even sure if people can talk about data efficiency without thinking of RIM first.

Really? Chris are you serious? I read it... And I personally don't think BlackBerry even came anywhere NEAR his thoughts... He cares about his major competition - and that's Android - not BlackBerry... Just my opinion... I think you're stretching it bro!

Great article Chris. I know it seems like kind of a stretch to assume Cook was indirectly mentioning Blackberry but, I can see how you would come to that conclusion. Another Great Crackberry Article, keep them coming.

assuming this logic, you can argue that windows phone, palm, is more efficent than iphone as well. currently, I don't think blackberry is on anyones mind as a competitor until they see what BB 10 has to offer. I do enjoy your financial analysis, but this is stretching it.

You know a brand is in trouble when the number one fan has to make shit up. I still want blackberry to get back on track, but I think BB 10 is coming out way too late.

And adding to the fact that there weren't much to lose...since the number 1 fan was on iMore's homepage wearing an iMore tee shirt as he lined up for his new iPad and commenting how he finds the iPhone less useful than the android phone he uses...hmmmmm

You are right about this, they were indeed late. Late to the MP3 market as well. It just goes to show, that it is never too late and anything can happen.

Chris stated that Tim Cook never said "BlackBerry" but Mr. Cook did talk about how important data compression is to carriers and it has been reported through research reports that BlackBerry's are the best data efficient smartphones out there. So maybe some of you could get off his ass, do a little research on your own(I'm sure most of you have used Google or Bing), and see that this is a very good article and shows that BlackBerry still has some advantages over other smartphones. Too many people sipping on that Haterade these days.

Cook didn't say that data compression was important to carriers, he merely said that apple works hard to be more efficient than other platforms. Nothing about carriers there.

The only mention of the carrier was when he went on to state that the iPhone was the best phone to entice a customer into the smartphone world. Which had nothing to do with the importance of data efficiency to the carrier rather the importance of the iPhone and getting their customers to upgrade.

If anything he only mentioned data efficiency for the benefit of the customer that's trapped into a capped plan.

Yeah he said Cook didn't say Blackberry, yet the headline says "Cook acknowledges blackberry data effiency". So we could do our own research but that's not the point at all. The quotes given refer nothing to the subject matter in the headline. The content coming out of this website is getting worse by the day. If its not about the games available on the playbook its making (far fetched in my opinion) inferences about apple news. Sorry but the blackberry fan boys around here need a reality check. Flame On.

I know this is just a blog but there has to be some standard upheld. Reporting fiction as fact steps over the line, Nevermind reading between them.

fabulation would be the appropriate one. I crave positive blackberry news like anyone here, but made up bullshit shouldn't be the crackberry standard.

I just hope that BB10 raises the bar so high that 1) even non-tech users recognize it's innovation without having to be talked into it and 2) it will be the end of articles like this post to Crackberry.

How do you extrapolate the title from what he said? Here is what I read;

"iPhone is Gods gift to earth and we don't give a flying f*** about anything else. The consumers dont care about data compression just like they dont care about "Security" *cough cough*. Even if carriers drop us (which they dare not, and wont cause well, we are Apple), people will still buy a $650 un-subsidized unit, because its what consumers want"

The sooner RIM understands that consumers want an App rich, sexy hardware with a beautiful UI - the sooner they can start to compete.

Forget about the compression, security and all the boring shit.

This is a terrible post and unworthy of being a submission to the front page of the site. It should be took down. Nowhere in what Tim Cook said can you extract that he implied that he was referring to Blackberry/RIM.

And nowhere through your terrible grammar ("should be took? down") and gross overuse of prepositions/vague pronouns can anyone take your criticism seriously.

Nonetheless, this article is a bit of a stretch.

Dwl +1...I don't share d supposed gravamen of this article!!...The guy is simply glorifying d iPhone and checkin his heels for d proximity of his *competitor* (singular)!!

I think you're really grasping at straws with this one, anyone else notice a decline in the quality of crackberry articles lately?

My sentiment exactly. They've been very run down and burnt out lately. Can't blame them since they don't really have much to blog about.

Hopefully next week with BB10 - we get some good posts, but in the meantime - I'd really like to not have to read how "the iPhone is the best phone on the planet" .. at least not from this site.

This is like the sanctuary where BB Fans come to seek refuge from the torments and hatred from every day RIM bashing articles. Don't ruin it by posting how amazing Apple is.

Was this seriously a joke?

Be thankful it's not at the level of WebOSnation where most of the articles are along the lines of "A retrospective review of the Touchpad box".

Grasping at straws is exactly what I was going to say.

I love my Blackberry and I'm dreading the day that I have to let it go but I'm not blind. The writing is on the wall. That day is coming.

I'm going to hold on for at least as long as it takes for a BB10 slider to hit the streets. If that fails to correct course then I'm going to have to make a change.

No hate, no "fanboi-ism". That's just the way it's going to be in my case.

I was excited to read the first part of this post nenough to go the full story and after reading it I was disappointed - obviously because I assumed that Tim was going to actually mention the name BB. Not only did he not mention it, he went to great lengths not to. I'm a BB fan through and through, but trying to pull out a plug for BB from this piece is a reach I'm not prepared to see. Good try though! Blackberry - Tools, not Distractions!

What Gin and Juice has Tim Cook been sipping on!!! I had to chime in on this conversation!!! Where is he getting his statistics that the iPhone is the most data efficient phone!! The iPhone is reeking havoc/cost on the networks, which is the reason why Verizon is planning to stop subsidizing the iPhone as much as they are doing now. Verizon is starting to push sales on Android phones. Yesterday they dropped the price on Android phones to ramp up sales. The iPhone is impacting their bottom line.

The carriers are the reason why Apple is sitting on over $100B in cash, and huge profit margins; while their margins are deteriorating. Apple is bringing the customers to the carriers, but isn't bringing the cash - helping the bottom line. Apple is becoming more of a cost than a benefit. The carriers are not going to allow Apple to continue to dictate and control the market at their expense. Apple's bubble is going to end soon because economies of scale doesn't exist for the carriers; in general, basic economics do not exist for the carriers. Supply and demand at proper break-even pricing points do not exist....

Statistics have shown that iPhone customers use more data than other phone customers. Somebody needs to question Tim Cook regarding his statistics to find out where he is getting his information....!!!

I have been told by the corporate office at at&t that Blackberry customers do not use as much data as other phone customers. In addition, I was told that I would probably never use 4GB of data because I have a Blackberry phone. Blackberry phones are very data friendly. I was told that Apple customers use the most data, and need the largest data packages.

Apple is primarily the reason why the carriers continue to restructure their data plans/packages to subsidize (pickup the cost) for the iPhone....

Forgive me if this is ignorant, since I really don't know, but could it possibly be that Apple and Android phones use more data - and the users need larger data plans - because said phones can simply do so many more data-requiring things and users do those things more often? I mean the larger screen real estate, hundreds of thousands of available apps, better graphics and processing speeds certainly lead to more app downloads, video streaming, music streaming, web browsing, video calling, etc. for Apple/Android users than *most* Blackberry users, right?

So, while you point out that "statistics have shown that iPhone customers use more data than other phone customers," let's not use that fact alone to argue for efficiency. It seems to me Blackberry's are "data-friendly" not only because they are efficient, but because they just don't do as much that requires data.

Thats a good point. Statistics are always skewed to the argument they are supporting. All of those factors need to be acknowledged.

However, from my personal experience, I had a Thunderbolt and now I have a Bold. My usage has pretty much been the same. I didnt use apps or surf the web (more) on the Thunderbolt than I do on the Bolt and my thunderbolt usage was ALWAYS astronomically bigger than it is now on the Bold.

It becomes disheartening to run the same app on an iPhone and on a Blackberry, allowing you to see the difference in capabilities the app developers add to the iOS platform, effectively tossing BB users a bone.

Less features on BB apps will limit data usage.

+ 1 great point.

As a consumer, no one give a **** about these statistics. They simply want the best and BB is definitely not an option.

I agree with your comment "It seems to me Blackberry's are "data-friendly" not only because they are efficient, but because they just don't do as much that requires data."

100000% fact !

The only inference here is that BlackBerry does not have an app-rich ecosystem. I will venture to say the author is trolling.

Most of you dont know this, but Tim Cook and the author are both Code Talkers. As I am also. So yeah I understand!!!!!! WTF......

Whoa people! Does Tim Cook HAVE TO say the word BlackBerry?! Read between the lines. Of course Tim Cook isn't going to admit it. We all know how Apple has a hard time admitting their failures. Why would they now? The guy speaks like a politician. Yeah, maybe the title is off but geez you guys are acting like a bunch of babies who got a piece of gum instead of a lolypop at the barbershop. Sometimes, I'm just ashamed to be part of this CrackBerry nation. Fkn babies, some of you.

On the other hand, Tim Cook may not have even been thinking about BlackBerry. Sorry, I just don't see the inference. Oh, and I'm definitely no Fkn baby! Apparently, we should all just take it as gospel that he was talking about BlackBerry! Give me a Fkn break!

As Chris states the inference is clear enough. Other wise why use the term "app rich" when talking about eco-systems (though I'd say 80,000 is pretty app rich).

Especially bearing in mind BlackBerry can be up to 10 times more efficient at data usage (right now because Androids etc use more data, the carriers are pushing those devices over RIM - hence poor sales of RIM devices).

His problem is that he knows network bandwidth even with the latest advances will run out by 2013 in some parts of the US, and he also knows his engineers are years behind RIM's in the efficient utilization of cell networks. And you can bet RIM has patented its protocols.

An Oracle victory against Google (raising the cost of Android devices by a further $15) will reduce the price premium of BlackBerry and persuade carriers to start selling RIM devices again.

The reduction of available network bandwidth will see data costs rise steeply, consumers leave Android and Apple in droves and RIM will not be able to deliver to demand.

RIM may be down, but its certainly not out.

Sure, he didn't actually say "BlackBerry" anywhere. But his wording was carefully chosen, as usual. He said Apple is more efficient than other "app rich" ecosystems, meaning Android. By saying this, he clearly recognizes BlackBerry is more efficient.

I know this is Crackberry, but lol that's a very bery-naive conclusion imho :D

This seems less of an acknowledgement and more of pretending BlackBerry doesn't count. He's essentially dismissing BB as viable on the basis that it doesn't have a large app catalog, comparatively speaking.

Tim Cook used qualifiers to distort the statement such that it is true. This is spin at its worst. Suddenly people will just think Apple is THE most efficient (the qualifier will easily be forgotten). I'm sure this was carefully crafted ahead of time, and he found a way to sneak it in there to further support the illusion of iPhone superiority.

The use of "qualifiers" is certainly not the sole purview of Apple; every company, including RIM and Crackberry, uses them. Heck, the title of this article alone can be considered spin at its worst. So let's not act sanctimonious by somehow thinking that Apple is being manipulative or less than honest with what's being reported - all companies do this.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. If I wrote it I would be sitting back watching all of you jumping up and down!

I figured the second part of the quote (about going from traditional phone to smartphone) was a big stab at Nokia, who still dominate this market. They will be the biggest losers if their current traditional phone customers don't upgrade to a Lumia, and grab an iPhone instead.

I would also have to join the others who say the title of this article is misleading. There is no mention of BlackBerry, and I don't see any implied connection. It actually sounds a bit like he is saying that iPhone is the greatest when it comes to data efficiency.

I was going to come here to say, "this article should be, 'how to twist someone's words 101'" but looks like 90% of the BlackBerry community beat me to it

This article should not have been written. Pure speculation. These kind of articles keeps coming one after the other here on Crackberry.

So for those that think Marketing, of lack thereof, is why BB's are not pushed by carriers....hopefully this connects the dots for you. Data = Revenues.

A device that consumes less data is not revenue friendly.

OK - I read this post a few only comment is: That title has nothing to do with the content! I guess I should have read the first comment earlier ;-)


What Tim Cook ACTUALLY said:
iPhone has far better data efficiently compared to other smartphone that are using sort of an app rich ecosystem.

What Tim Cook COULD'VE said:
iPhone has far better data efficiently compared to other smartphone. (lie)

Chris is saying Tim Cook's choice of words were very careful because the shorter statement I've suggested would be a lie, which Tim Cook didn't want to make. Cook's choice of words make it so that he's not lying but can exclude a comparison with BlackBerry's without being obvious.

Blackberries are not even considered smart phones anymore. I own a top of the line Blackberry 9930 (the greatest, RIM ever manufactured) and I'm not happy with it at all, its slow, it freezes on me every now and then, that hourglass (clock) pops up whenever, have to wait at least minute for it to get away. I've been a RIM/Blackberry loyalist since almost 4 years now, hoping for that one day BB world will own the rest, but i gotta admit iPhone is an amazing device, used it for a almost a month now and have never faced any issue so far, runs great 100 times faster than my 9930, doesn't freeze at all and there are apps for almost everything.

To all the BB fanatics (including myself), Apps are not toys, they come in Handy when we need them, i think the reason why we call them toys is the fact that we don't have most of them in our pockets and we come up with these words to show the rest that we don't care when inside we're dying to have those apps on our platform. No one really cares about data compression / security statements that RIM makes every now and them. Customers don't support a company, a smart company looks out for ways to figure out what customers need and keeping them connected. RIM is a massive FAIL when it comes to that. RIM claims to have occupied the largest section of the enterprise world, i doubt it. I work in Manhattan, one of the biggest enterprise section of the world ,if RIM is a success in enterprise world then why do i see iPhones in every hand (Literally)?

I Don't think Crack Berry has anything left to fill up their website with other than these "So desperate to see RIM rise" articles. I'm sorry but this post is just beyond terrible. And the fact is Tim Cook probably doesn't even know that Blackberries still exist :)

This article is a little bit of a reach...

Nowhere in this quote does Tim Cook acknowledge BlackBerry at all or make a reference towards them.

In europe the data usage is a big thing, dataplans get limmits and networks get slow. Consumer don,t care about things as datahogs or security...... Unless they are confronted with the side effects.
Apple is brilliant in finding the kid in ourselves, on top of that its a neat device. Bb has many more to offer but is not a playstation or xbox.
Apps are importend to succeed in a mobile world, tbats one thing apple proved.....

I think this is a free country (Canada too) so therefore Chris can write an article that, anyone with any
knowledge about Blackberry's and their data compression, would understand pretty easily. Get off his back already.

BTW- is it me or is Cook morphing into Jobs???

What I don't understand is the preoccupation that people (especially here) have with Apple. Clearly Cook was talking about Android and that is because he knows Android is their biggest flash....Android is also RIM's biggest competitor. Not Apple. Forget Apple. Android is what is causing the bleed right now for RIM, and the constant focus on Apple is bizarre.

Forgive me if I'm ignorant...but I was raised in an english-speaking household. What's the difference between efficiently and efficiency?
Where I come from, one's an adverb and the other is a noun. Is there new tech terminology I'm not aware of or have we all just decided to brutalize the english language?