Penalize the iPhone!

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You should pay more than you do, iPhone user.

What's that? Um, yes. I heard you. I think my mom did, too. Your hate mail is better directed at Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) . Co-Chief Executive Officer Mike Lazaridis told Bloomberg in a Monday interview that the industry needs to take data volumes into account in its charges and increase incentives for efficient network use.

In short: Penalize the iPhone!

Shocking, right? Not only is this the competition talking, but we've long known that Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) hot-selling handset drowns itself in data. AdMob's latest report found that devices powered by the iPhone operating system accounted for 51% of worldwide smartphone traffic during the fourth quarter. Nokia's (NYSE: NOK  ) Symbian was next at 21% and Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android third at 16%.

Just last week, BusinessWeek used its cover to spotlight the trouble consumptive iPhone consumers have caused AT&T (NYSE: T  ) . Here at, my Foolish colleague Anders Bylund has wondered aloud if Ms. Bell should dump Steve Jobs for a younger man.

But of course she shouldn't. AT&T has made that much plain in talking about the importance of data to its business. It's more important than voice; that's why Skype has been invited to direct iPhone calls over AT&T's 3G data network.

Not surprisingly, Lazaridis' comments to Bloomberg came as his company was touting a forthcoming browser that it claims downloads faster and is easier to use than alternatives, including Apple's mobile version of Safari.

He has an agenda, in other words.

Even so, Lazaridis has a reasonable point to go along with his agenda. Smartphone traffic is soaring. A recent report from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) found that carriers could be ferrying 40 exabytes of mobile data annually, or 3.6 per month, by 2014. For perspective, that's equal to 133 times all the data traffic that's crossed mobile networks in the three decades since their creation in 1980, Wireless Week reports.

Carriers deserve the right to charge fairly for the infrastructure that's going to be required for this deluge. If they do, and if RIM can use its new browser and similar technology to give and take data more efficiently than rivals, it'll be users that penalize the iPhone.

By indulging in the BlackBerry.

Will Research In Motion claim the smartphone world's efficiency crown? Does it matter? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Nokia is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the market-beating Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He had stock and options positions in Apple and a stock position in Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. The Fool's disclosure policy has no agenda.

Read/Post Comments (11) | Recommend This Article (10)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 4:08 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    Almost fell off my throne when I came across this article on my iPhone in a brief response to nature calling. Lazaridis's complaint didn't surprise me a bit, it is a typical complaint from a typical Rim deadwood crying foul when he has fallen way behind in his work saying the other guys on his team are working too fast.

    Lazaridis is a typical Rim deadwood and his deadwood employees are typical just like Lazaridis. It's been the sad story of typical Canadian deadwood culture to penalize the scapegoat for working too hard, just like the Canadian taxing system, stick it to the hard working rich 'bastards' with 95% tax rate for making $250000 a year working his ass off !!

    This kind of deadwood war cry is even more sickening knowing that the 99% deadwood baffoon management and employees are sitting on their ass doing nothing exception sleeping on their jobs like the TTC toll collector and going on strike for unjustified 20% pay hikes while bewitching the few wickedly persecuted productive honest few.

    Lazaridis is an extremely poor excuse of a nagging double-faced clown making negligible gibberish at the industry leading Apple Inc.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 4:15 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    My point is: should you pay more tax for being more productive doing more work than other workers?

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 4:29 PM, jtsnyc47 wrote:

    As long as I get to pay less for using less, I'm more than fine with the possibility of paying more if I use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth.

    Unfortunately, carriers seem to be more interested in letting the 80% of users pay for more than they use and bitch about the other 20%.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 4:47 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    I'm in favor of a usage based internet access system. It's also time for incentive based pay systems instead of our seniority based pay systems. Our health, social security, welfare, educational systems should all be incentive and/or usage based also.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 5:34 PM, mattack2 wrote:

    If you mean I wouldn't have to pay for welfare and/or social security because I wouldn't use them, then I agree.. Otherwise, we should get rid of them entirely.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 8:57 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    United States of America should be renamed to Usage-based States of America. On the other hand, I remember when the USA never had Income Tax before World War I. The Income Tax was a temporal measure to fund WWI which was to be scrapped after WWI was over.

  • Report this Comment On February 17, 2010, at 8:58 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    United States of America should be renamed to Usage-based States of America. On the other hand, I remember when the USA never had Income Tax before World War I. The Income Tax was a temporal measure to fund WWI which was to be scrapped after WWI was over.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 7:15 AM, mhonarvar wrote:

    Sageorfool...95% tax rate for making $250000 a year working his ass off ...are you kiddding me?

    the tax rate in canada for those making over $126k is 29%

    The US tax rate goes up to 35% at the highest levels

    do your homework before making stupid comments.

    and RIM hasn't "fallen behind"...rim continues to gain market share when last i head iphone lost some.

    id say your more a fool than a sage

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 7:27 AM, mhonarvar wrote:

    95% tax rate for making $250000 a year...thats the dumbest thing ive ever heard...

    you should look the facts before making stupid comments

    canadas top income tax rate is 29% for anything over $126k

    Americas is 35%

    and we dont have 50% of our bankruptcys coming from health care costs either...

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 7:48 AM, mhonarvar wrote:

    The average tax rate in Canada is much higher than in the United States. In Canada total tax and non-tax revenue for every level of government equals about 38.4% of GDP, compared to the U.S. rate of 28.2%.

    A significant portion of this tax differential is due to spending differences between the two countries. While the US is running deficits of about 4% of GDP, Canada has consistently posted a budget surplus of around 1% of GDP. Considered in a revenue-neutral context, the differential is much smaller - Canada's total governmental spending was about 36% of GDP vs. 31% in the US. In addition, caution must be used when comparing taxes across countries, due to the different services each offers. Whereas the Canadian healthcare system is 70% government-funded, the US system is just under 50% government-funded (mostly via Medicare and Medicaid); adding the additional healthcare-spending burden to the above figures to obtain comparable numbers (+3% for Canada, +7% for the US) gives adjusted expenditures of 38–39% of GDP for each of the two nations.

    The United Nations Human Development Index has traditionally listed Canada (ranked third) higher than the United States (ranked twelfth). Other independent groups, such as the Economist have ranked each of Canada's four largest cities as better places to live than any American city. In their 2005 ranking, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal ranked within the top 10 livable cities while the highest ranked American cities, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, were tied at 26th place.

    Canada ranks higher than the U.S. in statistics such as life expectancy (80.22 years in Canada versus 77.85 in the U.S.) and infant mortality (4.75 Canadian deaths per 1000 versus 6.50 in the States). Both countries rank highly with 99% literacy rates. The United States has more major consumer goods per capita than Canada. For instance, while Canada had only 297 computers per 1000 people in 1996, the United States had 403.

  • Report this Comment On February 18, 2010, at 1:15 PM, beetlebug62 wrote:

    Of course Lazaridis' comments are self-serving.

    The funny thing about RIM's new browser is that it is WebKit based. You know, the rendering engine Apple wrote and supports, and made open-source, so that now, Nokia's S60 uses, Google's Android uses, Palm's WebOS uses, Adobe's AIR uses, let alone Apple's own Mobile Safari uses. It's funny how when those companies announce their new browser and how fast it runs, they never mention that they built their browser on top of Apple's work. Nor do they mention that Apple open-sourced WebKit, rather they like to talk about how "closed" Apple's approach is. A bit of hypocrisy there.

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