I have heard that users of the iPhone aren't as happy with their battery life when compared with BlackBerry owner experiences. Since both devices use the same battery technology, it seems that either the devices have substantially different power efficiency numbers, or that iPhone owners make more use of their device.
So I've looked at some commonly available statistics to see if I can determine if people use the iPhone more than the BlackBerry. The results are astounding.
NetApps has recently published their "Mobile Web Browser" statistics, and it looks like the iPhone accounts for roughly 64% of all mobile web sessions (April 2009). In contrast, the BlackBerry accounts for 3.1% of mobile web sessions.
So we know out of the gate the people use their iPhones more than BlackBerry users. But this simple statistic doesn't show everything: According to ChangeWave Research's December 2008 market share numbers, the iPhone acounts for 23% of the smartphone marketplace, while the BlackBerry accounts for 41%. That means there are about 1.7 BlackBerrys in use for each iPhone in use.
So people use their iPhones much more than the NetApps statistics suggest!
Chugging through these two sets of numbers, it seems like the typical iPhone user accesses the web through their primary browser roughly 40 times more than the typical BlackBerry user. If a BlackBerry user accesses the web from their device for 5 minutes a week, the typical iPhone user accesses it for 200 minutes.
So when reading statistics that compare battery life between the BlackBerry and the iPhone from the user's perspective, remember: iPhone owners access the web 40 times more frequently than BlackBerry users. And accessing the web drives the screen, the CPU, and the radio circuitry more heavily than a simple voice call.
And I haven't even started to estimate how many optional "app store" applications are used on the iPhone versus the BlackBerry.
Oh, and for my iPhone's battery life? With 3G, Wifi, and Bluetooth all "on", I get about 5 ½ hours of activity. And I can charge it full, from empty, in under 90 minutes. That's better than any other cell phone I've ever owned.