First Hands On BlackBerry Bold vs. iPhone Comparison

By Kevin Michaluk on 21 May 2008 01:46 pm EDT

It was painful to do, but for the sake of the Smartphone World I sent my eBay BlackBerry Bold 9000 onto Dieter at our sister site to have some fun with. What's the result? Following up on the web's first in-depth Review of the BlackBerry Bold we now have the web's first BlackBerry Bold vs. iPhone Comparison.

Earlier this week CNet ran a story where RIM's coCEO Mike Lazaridis stated the BlackBerry Bold was not a response to the iPhone and that they in fact had the first models of the Bold in-hand three years ago. At WES last week I picked up that same notion from many a RIM folk, but in the side-by-side comparison Dieter can't help but note the visual similarities.

And just as I'm a Huge BlackBerry fanboy Dieter is a bit of an iPhone fanboy. The comparison is pretty fair (though RIM is still working on the Bold's OS and by the time it ships will have a much improved web browser), so if you find the comparison to be a bit pro-iPhone remember there are at least 10 Reasons why the iPhone is No BlackBerry (and that was before the Bold was it's more like 20 Reasons!). But Dieter has a TON of photos comparing the two smartphones side by side and will be following up this initial review with more comparisons over the days ahead. It's definitely worth checking out.

Reader comments

First Hands On BlackBerry Bold vs. iPhone Comparison


This Guy is way to biased he clearly is an iphone fanboy and what was his websight iphone blog why we even post this video ill never know the two phones should not even be compared two each other

Dieter is not as biased as he sounds in the video...really..did you hear how many times he stated "this is not the final"..."this is pre production"..on top of that he is a WM freak as might as well just break it down and say he's a gadget freak period. It was a good look at a comparison,but as the smart phone round robin CLEARLY indicated, the devices truly are on two different levels

I certainly can appreciate the perspective of an iPhone user very much. On style and looks the iPhone certainly has set the bar high. But... the Bold has been in production for a while so I doubt they went very far to "copy" the iPhone. It also is hard to compare the way the software looks on the two, we know the iPhone is drop dead gorgeous and smooth. However, where this video lacked due to pre-release comparison of the Bold, the Bold has way more functionality and ease of use. We use email/calendar at least 50% of the time on these devices and having those come easy is HUGE. When it comes to functionality the Bold wipes the floor with the iPhone (IMO)

Good video, but i am bias and i love BB's. I know this guys video is off the iPhone blog, but once they get over the "7 year old boy who gets a new video game, and plays if for a week straight, and never plays again" BB is ultimately the best. Don't get me wrong, i think the iPhone design is pretty genius, but they can improve their device a lot more.

Regardless I still love the BB and the Bold will live up to its name in all aspects. I can't wait for this phone to be released.

I really dig both phones, but am an avid BB user. One of my good friends has an Iphone so I am able to get lots of hands on time with it. Now I will explain why my stock is going with RIM though. The Iphone has in a way backed itself into a corner with the simplicity of its design. Apple will never be able to go to a tactile keyboard due to the strong emphasis that it has always put on its touch screen. With that in mind the Iphone will always retain its general cosmetic design but will only be updated with new and improved Os's. RIM on the other hand has the future wide open for them. They have a tactile keyboard which functions exceptionally well, and when they eventually release a touch screen model they will still keep other BB devices in their arsenal of devices. In other words, RIM can go any number of routes with its hardware and not be wrong. I think in the next few years you are only going to see small cosmetic changes on the Iphone itself. Iphone has a nice music player and browser for sure, but given a short amount of time RIM can easily achieve and surpass those features, no doubt.

Thanks for the great review on the Bold. Ebay, huh? Crazy...

I use two Curves 8310 one from Vodafone, one from T-Mobile, used the 8700v before - what a great keyboard. And the trackwheel was also cool! Who needs touchscreens????

Question about the Bold's display: I recently got a Nokia E90i Communicator for testing from the companys provider, and was surprised about the Communicator's extremely brilliant inner display, it seems to have a very very high resolution although it is not big. As I work part time as a photographer, I noticed that this display even makes sharpness and resolution check on photos possible, and it even opens 7 MB jpgs quite fast. Is the Bold's display as good as this one? Just curious..

What about HTML email on the bold and attachements like Excel and WordFiles? Any screenshots on that? What about Adobe PDFs, is the cheesy PDF viewer of OS 4.3 improved now?

What about the Bold's Webbrowswer! Is it as good as OperaMini now, or as easy to use as Nokias E-Series Webbrowsers?

WiFi and GPS is cool of course, but working on Excel and Word Files is a must these days. You wrote the keyboard on the Bold is as good as the Curve's - hope so!


I did like this video... Primarily because I never got to watch first-hand on what the Blackberry Bold can do. In some ways, I had a few mixed feelings. I think the reason for that is because I was expecting the Blackberry Bold to do multiple things like cure cancer and cook your meals.

I agree with the first post that it is like comparing Apples and Oranges and I feel to end all debate, iPhones and Blackberries perform in different levels.

I love the Blackberry Bold's look. I, as a Curve and 8800 user, the Bold is so much curvier, sexier, and more appealing than the Blackberries in the past. Also, one great and exciting feature that Deiter mentioned is that the Bold has a much more higher screen detail than the iPhone. Unfortunately, I was expecting more as far as the OS is concerned. In many ways, the way the Bold functions is like the Curve I currently have right now. Overall, I think the Bold is definitely the phone to look forward to from the Blackberry family, instead of the Kickstart (eww).

Great video...

If you listen to the BlackBerry 9000 Special Editon Podcast (before WES) and to the WES Podcasts, we actually talk about the 9000's PIN getting shut down quite a bit. That's why you gotta listen to the podcasts...we like to save some juicy for the them :-)

As for Why.... Je Ne Sais Pas!

Be sure you leave a comment on the iPhone blog for a chance to win a $100 iTunes gift certificate... you know, now that RIM -- who really truly aren't copying Apple with glossy black facades, silver trim, touchscreens, etc... -- are hacking their way into iTunes to let you sync content to your Blackberry. That makes it $100 potential BlackBerry tunes for Crackberrians!


The Issue: The Blackberry Bold 9000 has been released - and it has 3G internet capabilities. Yes, it beat the iPhone to the punch. However, it still doesn't stand a chance to the almighty Apple iPhone.

The Story: Here's the deal. No matter how great the hardware may be, the BlackBerry Bold 9000 will not out sell the iPhone. It won't turn heads. It will not succeed - atleast not in the same way the iPhone succeeded. Why is this so? It's not because the BlackBerry isn't a good phone - it's because of the world the iPhone has created.


Just look around. You're on a site which reviews iPhone applications and discusses important iPhone news. The iPhone generates atleast 5 news stories every day.

The iPhone is a brand. It has swept the market.

There is always something interesting going on in the world of iPhone - for example, the item is literally sold out in all Apple stores right now in both USA and England. Seems unreal. And rather than taking the news and saying "oh wow, they must be selling out fast!", the whole tech community is shouting: "Hooray! The iPhone 2.0 must be coming! This is the best day of my life!"

The point is - people care about the iPhone. It is innovative. It challenged the norm, and created a new standard. People care enough to speculate and take online quizzes about when they think the 3G iPhone will be released (alright, maybe that's just the super nerds).

Furthermore, read a little further into the scenario here. The BlackBerry Bold 9000 was designed and released specifically to challenge the iPhone.

By challenging the iPhone, BlackBerry is giving the assumption that the iPhone is the one to beat. This concept gives more to the iPhone than it does to itself.

Here's an idea: don't 'beat the iPhone'. Do what Apple did - be innovative. Challenge the norm. Create a new standard. Don't target the iPhone as your competition.

Want proof that the iPhone is winning? Approach your grandmother. Ask her if she's ever heard of BlackBerry - she'll think you're talking about the fruit. Ask her if she's ever heard of an iPhone - and 4 out of 5 times you'll get a yes.


Since this is a linked article, I'm not even going to debate this with whoever posted it. But I'm sure a lot of people here would debate all of these reasons. From "blackberries arent well known" to "the Bold was SPECIFICALLY designed to challenge the iPhone." Considering that blackberries and iPhones were designed for two different markets(business vs consumer), it's comparing apples to berries. I know that pun is probably over used...

"Want proof that the iPhone is winning? Approach your grandmother. Ask her if she's ever heard of BlackBerry - she'll think you're talking about the fruit. Ask her if she's ever heard of an iPhone - and 4 out of 5 times you'll get a yes."

If you ask your grandmother if she's heard of an iPhone five times and she says yes only 4 out of the 5 times, have a doctor check her out. I had to ask my grandmother ONCE if she's heard of a blackberry and guess what? She said yes!

So the blackberry is trying to beat the iphone? hmmm then why is the iphone trying to go into the enterprise market? It wouldn't be to try and beat the blackberry? no (sarcastically speaking). Give me a break the iphone will never beat the blackberry. The one thing blackberry has is a support base. Yes Apple is a known brand that does all sorts of gadgets but the blackberry is up there. RIM has been makeing blackberry since before I was born. Its now just getting into the consumer market. Being a longstanding enterprise device with a history with various companies. This is where it wont loose because the iphone is based on consumer qualities not enterprise. The blackberry on the other hand is meshing enterprise with consumer having enterprise in there mind first and adding a little consumer touch and feel to it. How about you go to the iphony blog (yes I said Iphony) and post there.

I was surprised to hear about the iPhone's screen resolution. I was never a fan or really impressed with the iPhone even before it was released so I never looked at the specs. My old pda's screen looked about the same size so I assumed it had the same resolution (640 x 480). Since I am a crack addict, it makes me feel better that the Bold will be sporting the same resolution as the almighty iPhone.

Now I know that the full touchscreen bb isnt everyone's cup of tea but personally I'm looking forward to it. I just hope that it has a 640 x 480 resolution compared to the iPhone's 480x320. Besides looking awesome, it would be something to rub in Apple's face. :)

wow....all these comments,,,,funny.

I use to own a 2.8 inch black berry and now I own a the 3.5 inch iphone. After experiencing life in the 3.5 inch zone,,,,I will never go back to the eye squinting 2.8 inch screen that I had previously with the blackberry.

LOL...I'm not sure why everyone is comparing sales between the iPhone and what the bold will sell. Incase you forgot, RIM sells a lot more than one device. How many iPhones were sold over the last year? 4 million or so? RIM shipped 4.4 million BlackBerry's in the final QUARTER of fiscal 2008 ALONE and over 14 million for the fiscal year of 2008. Honestly, you cannot compare the sales. If Apple was like RIM and only made smartphones they wouldn't be anywhere near the giant that RIM is.

P.S. - why is there no mention of the Bold's much faster processor in this video? That alone makes it more attractive to me. That and the fact that it uses a standard mini-usb cable and has an external microSD slot. There are so many bonuses to the Bold over the iPhone. In the end it's a matter of whether you want a functional device or a pretty status symbol.

Instead of comparing the "bold" to the iPhone,when available to the public, compare the "thunder" to the iPhone.


"Furthermore, read a little further into the scenario here. The BlackBerry Bold 9000 was designed and released specifically to challenge the iPhone.

By challenging the iPhone, BlackBerry is giving the assumption that the iPhone is the one to beat. This concept gives more to the iPhone than it does to itself."

Umm, Mike Lazaridis already stated that the Bold has been in development for years and that it wasn't a challenge at the iPhone.

nice try there.

It's amazing how everyone missed the moral of the video review here. After watching the video, you know what I got from it? I got that RIM is an ungrateful POS company who decided to disable Kevin's PIN after he gave such a nice review of it online. Not only that, but the freaking news stations were even ripping his video to post on their financial shows when the Bold was announced. How lame is that. That's what I got out of the video. As for the iPhone vs Bold. I think the Bold got powned. The iPhone is right there with WM in terms of customization and with the addition of the new OS that'll introduce ActiveSync technology, email just took a first row seat on the iPhone. It can only get better from there. Plus, don't forget that Apple released the SDK as well so more apps will start coming out for it as well from the private sector. What's worse is that I don't even like Apple products, but I can clearly see when something is more visually appealing to me then the Bold is. Personally, I'm waiting frantically to see what the 9500 (Thunder) will have to offer, but I gota tell you. In the consumer market, if RIM doesn't step up with some visually appealing capabilities (how about a full browser you losers), they are just going to have to be happy with their corporate sales. Those old fogies in the board room don't surf the web anyway.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. Mike Lazaridis... F you for taking Kevin's 9k offline!!! You really should realize who started the media frenzy about the 9k in the first place. Do the right thing Mike... send Kevin a new unlocked 9k to thank the man who started it all.

You people are really ********. What is the number one concern when letting these types of products into your company? SECURITY! What kind of security does the iPhone offer? None.

Unless Apple somehow comes out with an entire platform of business products that allow it to do anything similar to what a BES does for the corporate world, it will never replace the BlackBerry.

All you people do is look at the phone vs. phone perspective. What about the entire BlackBerry network running BEHIND THE SCENES that allows it to do so many more things especially when used with a BES?

Monitor devices, disable devices, wipe devices remotes, IT policies, etc. iPhone cannot touch the BlackBerry.

ActiveSync Admin tools allows for remote wipe of the device and other functions. Also, if you can monitor their Exchange email, you can monitor their iPhone email usage for accounts associated with ActiveSync. While you can't proxy all thier Internet traffic form the phone, you have a point there, but if you proxy all of that, all that added traffic from the BB has to go through your corporate Internet gateway anyway. Add to that the dependance upon RIM's NOC in Canada being up all the time and you can see how a BB has some weaknesses. When you compare apples to apples (or apples to windows, lol) an iPhone with ActiveSync firmware is no less secure then a WinMobile phone with ActiveSync engaged. Trust me, there are plenty of corporate companies that use WM devices without security concerns. Plus, there's no added cost for the company to license each device individually for ActiveSync... that was already done when they bought the server software. Big plus there... BES costs big mula to opperate. We all know it's RIM's cash cow.

I don’t own an iphone but I do own a blackberry. I think both phones are great products. It’s important to keep things in perspective and understand that both phones offer great solutions for many different needs. If you want to be able to enjoyably surf on the go, then I think many of us can’t argue that the iphone does a really nice job. Music, photos, and videos I would have to say goes to the iphone as well. Anything beyond what I have already mentioned would have to be in favor of the bold.

I saw a video of an interview that included Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The discussion included a brief discussion of the iphone. Jobs said, “It’s all about the software”. This is so true when it comes to smartphones. Form, fit, and function is critical to smartphones, but software I believe will separate the great smartphones from average.

First off, I'm an iPhone hater but this video comparison makes me like the iPhone better than the BB.
The Treo family is still better than either.
I use a BB Curve now but I'd rather have the iPhone or Treo.
BB is way behind.

I have to agree. Blackberry needs to put all their eggs on the Bold basket if they want to get anywhere and quickly. Their browser and email application is the lamest in the smart phone world, period. The fact that Blackberry owners need to resort to patching the product by downloading 3rd party applications just to be able to read HTML email is laughable at best.

I may come across as a Blackberry hater but it's not so. I have a Curve and love it (at least more now that I loaded 4.5 on it) but honestly RIM is lagging way behind in terms of web, and HTML email. If they could only get this right for the Bold and have a stronger media management application and 3G, I think it could potentially dethrone everyone else.

The Curve was a good first attempt but it's really obsolete already and delay after delay of the OS improvement that could unlock the functionality we need (READ: HTML EMAIL) doesn't help matters either.