Smartphone showdown: iPhone vs. BlackBerry Storm

How Verizon's newest smartphone stacks up against the industry leader.

RIM and Verizon vs. Apple and AT&T

Not content to stand by while AT&T , T-Mobile and Sprint generate all the wireless hype, Verizon says it will be supporting Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm smartphone on its network. The new device, which RIM says has a "clickable" screen that simulates the feel of a physical keyboard, can connect to either EV-DO Rev. A or HSPA 3G cellular networks and features 1GB of onboard memory storage and a card slot that allows for up to 16GB of additional storage. In this slideshow, we'll compare the BlackBerry Storm to Apple's iPhone, which is currently the smartphone standard, and see how they stack up in terms of call quality, data coverage, price and more.

Call quality

Year after year , survey after survey , Verizon consistently gets the highest marks for wireless call quality, for the least amount of dropped calls and for overall network reliability. Verizon also outpaces AT&T in terms of customer service and in the cost of service, the latest JD Power survey finds.

EDGE: If call quality is your most important qualification, go Verizon.

3G network coverage

Both Verizon and AT&T boast impressive 3G networks that span across the U.S. Verizon's 3G network runs on the CDMA-based EV-DO Rev. A wireless technology, while AT&T uses the GSM -based HSPA. A study conducted earlier this year by ComputerWorld showed that while AT&T and Verizon offered similar data speeds for their 3G networks, AT&T offered slightly faster service for peak download speeds, average download speeds and average upload speeds. Added to this, the iPhone is also able to take advantage of local Wi-Fi hotspots to download data while the Storm is not .

EDGE: The ability to access Wi-Fi as a cheaper alternative to 3G data service puts the iPhone over the top.

Cost

One of the most striking features of several new smartphones is their low cost. Apple and AT&T got the ball rolling earlier this year after they announced they were going to slash the price of the iPhone 3G down to $199. T-Mobile and Google decided to one-up them by selling their G1 smartphone for a mere $179. So far, neither Verizon nor RIM have released details on the retail cost for the Storm, but it will likely have to be in the $200 range if it really aims to be the " iPhone killer " that its makers hope it will be.

EDGE: Unknown until RIM announces its pricing.

Operating systems

This mostly comes down to what users are most comfortable with. The iPhone's Mac OS X has set the bar for mobile operating platforms in terms of familiarity and ease of use, but RIM has had its fair share of success with its own proprietary BlackBerry OS, which has received acclaim in the past for its speed and its light toll on device battery life.

EDGE: The question really is, do you want to use your smartphone more for work or play? Both operating systems have attractive features, although the BlackBerry OS is still tailored more toward enterprise users.

Enterprise features

The iPhone is seen as legitimate now that it has access to Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, a licensed data synchronization protocol whose built-in support will give IT departments the ability to set password policies, set up VPN settings and perform remote data wipes on iPhones that have been lost or stolen. The iPhone also took a big step forward when it gained access to Cisco IPsec VPN, which Apple says will "ensure the highest level of IP-based encryption available for transmission of sensitive corporate data." However, as some analysts have pointed out, the BlackBerry still sets the standard for enterprise wireless devices due to its larger array of security policies, including the ability for IT departments to disable its digital cameras; to enable or shut down specific Bluetooth profiles and set how long the device is "discoverable" using Bluetooth; and to define which applications on a BlackBerry can access GPS capabilities.

EDGE: The BlackBerry Storm wins this one handily, although the iPhone has done a good deal to catch up in the past year.

Applications

Apple took the lead in giving its users access to third-party applications this summer when it opened its AppStore up for business. Not to be outdone, RIM recently announced that it will open its own BlackBerry Apps Center once the BlackBerry Storm is officially released commercially. Because the Apps Center was only announced recently, we don't yet know how much money it's letting third-party developers have from online app sales or what its screening process is for allowing apps onto the store.

EDGE: iPhone's App Store, which for the time being has set the standard for delivering third-party apps. For the Apps Center to be successful, RIM will have to follow in Apple's and Google's footsteps and actively entice third-party developers to build applications for its devices.

The keypads

Now this could be an intriguing match-up. Neither the iPhone nor the Storm has a physical slide-out keyboard like the T-Mobile G1 does. However, RIM says that it is changing the game of how touchscreen keypads work with what it calls a "clickable screen." This means that users can actually press down on the digital keys on the screen and feel them being pressed and released just like they'd feel a mouse button being pressed and released. Thus, users will in theory be able to type much easier by having the touch of a standard QWERTY keyboard on the digital screen of their smartphone.

EDGE: While we won't know for certain until it's tested out by more users, the Storm gets the edge here for ambition and creativity.

iPhone or Storm?  You decide!

Which smartphone do you find more appealing? Do the BlackBerry Storm's enterprise features appeal to you more? Or do you plan on sticking with your iPhone? Let us know in the comments!

Plus, check out to see how T-Mobile and Google's G1 stacked up against Apple's iPhone.