Most mobile data pricing plans are set up like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Regardless of your device, you’re probably paying a fixed price per month. Reality: No way that will last.

Being with Verizon, my wife and I each pay $30 per month for unlimited data. To me, however, it’s more interesting what we’re paying per KB for each device. I have an iPhone, and she has a Blackberry.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve used an average of 647,311 KB each month.1 My wife, on the other hand, chewed through only 17,013 KB—though she uses her Blackberry quite a bit.

That’s a huge difference in consumption for the same price—0.17 cents per KB to be exact.  (Scale that against the countless GBs of mobile data flitting through the air right now.)

I highly doubt our case is an outlier either.2 A Blackberry simply isn’t equipped to consume the data an iPhone or Android phone can—no matter how many flustered hours you spend trying to use the circa 2004 Blackberry web browser.

Thank you Blackberry users of the world—for now

As the Blackberry continues to retreat from mobile market share graphs, I think it will be interesting to see what happens to data pricing once this subsidy dries up—or less likely, when the Blackberry catches up to its competition.

If $30 per month is the “right” price for today’s aggregate data appetite, what happens when everyone is carrying a real app phone with a real browser? It's just one more reason I think data prices will rise before they fall.

But for now, I just want to say thanks, Blackberry users. I really appreciate your help paying for my data. It's sweet of you. And: Hold out as long as you can, okay?

  1. In February, I switched from an Android phone to the iPhone, but there was no appreciable difference in monthly data usage.

  2. In fact, my level of data usage is probably on the low end for an iPhone user, so the disparity in other iPhone-Blackberry households is probably even greater.