For this post, the purpose is not to review the tech specs between iphone and blackberry, but to compare the plans from a cost perspective. I'm a wannabe finance analyst :). I will be using maxis as an example, cuz i'm stuck with Maxis. Also I'm assuming, no matter what, that people who go for either a blackberry or iphone will always have a data plan and the costs do not decrease after time.
The blackberry and iphone plans differ in one major aspect. The web browsing. The BIS plans are confusing and on the surface 5mb for the bis lite at RM40 isn't too appealing. 1mb = 25 pages, and 125 html pages per month. That is ridiculous. If I'm at a bookstore and want to see book reviews, i will be browsing probably 10 webpages at one time easily. So already blackberry will be out of the picture where browsing is important unless u get RM120 for the unlimited data plan and only then is it worth it to get the blackberry. On the other hand, the iphone is 500mb of data for 50 a month. That is totally worth it from a web site surfing cost perspective. Forget about youtube with the blackberry.
The Idata plan is RM50 a month which gets you 500mb worth of data. The data plan is identical to the Ivalue plan's data portion.
Now, this is where the situation gets interesting. For the first 12 months, the Ivalue plans lets you buy the iphone for about Rm100 less than the Idata plan. Between the money spent on extra sms from the ivalue plan and the RM100 saved on the purchase of the iphone; ends up probably around the same for the first year. You would have to sms A LOT(around 300-400 per month) to take the valueplus50/idata over the ivalue plan. So, it probably doesn't matter which one you take.
Either you could buy the value plus 50 and the idata, or just the ivalue plan. But after the first year, if you don't spend a lot on calls and SMS, it is more advantageous to get the valueplus50/idata instead of the ivalue plan. Your costs will likely be only around RM100, while the Ivalue costs would be always more than RM100 unless you don't sms at all.
The conclusion to get the valueplus50/idata plan, sounds obvious right? Yes, but Maxis actually offers a whopping additional RM400 discount to the Iphone for a 24 month period ivalue plan while compared to RM200 for the idata plan 24 month period. In this case, if you don't mind committing to a 24 month period, the BEST deal is to actually get the Iphone 24 month plan. The savings from the initial iphone discount is that good.
Of course there are cases where it might not be advantageous. Say you don't use 500mb, and could go for the 250mb idata plan which costs only RM30 a month for the second year, then we are talking RM240 in savings, but its not much different from the RM200 in additional savings, netting only RM40 in savings. Not much of a difference if you ask me.
Also, if you plan on changing your phone in the first two years, then yeah, it makes no sense to do the 24 month plan.
So, in summary:
1. valueplus50/idata50 approximately equals the Ivalue100 plan.
2. If you do light usage(less than RM50 in calls and sms, it is better to to get the Ivalue plan THEN switch after the first year.
3. If you can do the 24 month contract Ivalue plan, this is the best regardless of the usage. Then after the first two years maybe switch to the valueplus50/idata if they still have it.
4. If you consistently spend over RM50 in calls and sms, Ivalue is better as the discounts on the iphone are all that matters, for this kind of usage.
Well, after all this, i might still get the blackberry because so far i count 10 people telling me to get the blackberry. So this analysis might be for nought, but such a shame to let it go to waste, so i'll leave it for anyone who is interested :)