“Research in Motion’s ubiquitous BlackBerry smart phone had more than twice the rate of malfunctions in the first year of ownership compared with Apple Inc.’s iPhone,” Jeff Bounds reports for The San Francisco Business Times.

“That is according to a study by SquareTrade Inc., a San Francisco-based online retailer of extended warranties for electronics and appliances, of 15,000 phones produced by Cupertino-based Apple Inc., Research in Motion and Palm Inc.,” Bounds reports.

Bounds reports, “The study examined failure rates in iPhones, BlackBerrys and Treos covered by SquareTrade ‘care plans.’ It found the iPhone had a failure rate of 5.6 percent in its first year of ownership, compared with 11.9 percent for BlackBerrys and 16.2 percent for the Treo.”

“SquareTrade is an independent third party and has no affiliation with any of the handset manufacturers cited in the study,” Bounds reports.

Bounds reports, “Requests for comment from Research in Motion and Palm were not successful. In an e-mail, an Apple spokeswoman said the iPhone ‘ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction’ in a study by J.D. Power and Associates.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “J. H.” for the heads up.]

[UPDATE: 6:10pm ET: Changed headline from “Study: Apple iPhones more than twice as reliable as RIM BlackBerries, Palm Treos” as per comments below.]