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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 Fool.com, 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.