Apple vs. RIM?

“Consider it a battle less for hearts and minds than for thumbs and ears. That’s what may ensue between Apple (AAPL) and Research In Motion (RIMM), judging from recent Wall Street analysis and the performance of the companies’ shares and marquee products,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek.

“Apple’s iPhone is expected to sell 10 million units by the end of 2008. Meanwhile, RIM has 12 million subscribers, and its iconic BlackBerry is selling at a rate of about 4 million units a quarter,” Hesseldahl reports.

MacDailyNews Take: To add some additional perspective: Apple’s iPhone is currently available in just 4 countries (US, UK, Germany, and France; Apple promises “Asia in 2008”), sold mostly via one carrier per country (you can get them unlocked in France due to local law) and, to date, is available only in one model. RIM offers multiple models to multiple carriers to many times more countries around the globe. Those facts make the numbers that Apple likely to achieve in iPhone’s first full year vs. RIM’s numbers even more stunning.

Hesseldahl continues, “Other analysts see it differently. The battle is less Apple vs. RIM, they say, and more a contest pitting RIM and Apple against established phone vendors like Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola. Smartphones, which combine such features as e-mail, navigation, and Web access, will grab an ever-growing slice of the billion-unit-plus handset market in 2008. ‘I don’t think Apple and RIM are heading for a showdown in 2008,’ says Andy Hargreaves, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Ore. ‘I think the market for smartphones is growing fast enough, and smartphone adoption is low enough, so far that both will be huge share gainers. Apple and RIM are two companies that get it right now, and they’re both going to do well.’ In a research note published Dec. 21, after RIM’s most recent earnings report, Bear Stearns analyst Andy Neff wrote: ‘The battle is not RIM vs. Apple, but smartphones versus conventional handsets.'”

“If that’s the case, Motorola will need to watch its back,” Hesseldahl writes. “Having tied its smartphone strategy to Microsoft with its Q phone line, Motorola hasn’t generated much traction, while the popularity of its once red-hot RAZR line of conventional handsets has cooled substantially.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tying up with Microsoft is the kiss of death. See iPod and iTunes roadkill for evidence.

More in the full article here.

22 Comments

  1. Windows Mobile is dead..it’s just nerves causing the odd movement.

    Symbian is no match for OSX, so Nokia has a major problem ahead with its roadmap.

    RIM will produce a iPhone lookalike and so reveal its own limitations.

    Apple will motor ahead with many new iterations of smart communication devices with its 21st century weapon of choice – OSX.

  2. MDN’s take couldn’t be more wrong. For Apple to have any kind of chance they NEED TO LICENSE WINDOWS MOBILE. Plain and simple. Besides, their competition isn’t RIM—it’s the plethora of fantastic Windows Mobile devices out there. If you can’t beat them—and Apple can’t, just look at MACs miniscule market share—join them. Stick with a winner. Stick with Microsoft.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  3. The battle will be between Apple and RIM in the eyes of analysts. It is the only thing they’ll be able to use to beat up on the iPhone.

    “iPhone’s not doing any damage, just look at BlackBerry sales and RIM stock!”

    “The almighty iPhone still lacks a keyboard and sufficient enterprise support, however. Two major reasons why the BlackBerry has yet to tainted by its presence.”

    “For all its sales and market share gains, the iPhone still hasn’t managed to knock the BlackBerry from its perch.”

  4. let’s put it in perspective….the iPhone came just a little over 6 months. The RIM blackberrys have been around for several years. The leap that the iPhone took is staggering when you think about it. It just a matter of time.

  5. Blackberry vs iPhone is a lot like DOS vs Macintosh and I hope Apple sees that the installed base of RIM (or M$) dependent software is something that can’t be ignored.

    History has shown that junk over an installed base beats quality over a void so either Apple needs to fill in that void (and I doubt that the open source approach will suffice) or support the installed environments.

    After all, Apple has embraced the M$ platform in the past to penetrate a market (iTunes).

  6. save the mac fanboy-dom for macfans. blackberry users aren’t going to listen.

    old doodz don’t want to type on a touch screen because time is money and having to correct spelling errors when money is on the line is not acceptable.

  7. I have been a Mac user since 1985. I would have seriously considered an iPhone were it not for AT&T;service. I switched to AT&T;(Cingular) two years ago but due to the lack of service in my home and in many places I frequently visit in my home Washington, D.C. area I could hardly wait for my two year contract to end so I could switch. My contract ended last week and I purchased a Blackberry 8830 and switched Verizon service. This works well everywhere I have been, including the basement of my house and my gym’s underground parking garage. This Blackberry 8830 is so well designed that if Apple didn’t have its own phone I would swear that Apple did this one.

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