RIM’s BlackBerry 9000 shows how little they’ve learned from Apple’s iPhone

By SteveJack

Engadget Mobile has some shots of the much-ballyhooed RIM Blackberry 9000 “in the wild.”

Uh oh, RIM shareholders. If this is all RIM’s got, you guys and gals might want to quickly add “former” ahead of that suddenly scary “RIM shareholders” business. It’s now painfully obvious that RIM has learned nothing in the past 15 or so months since Apple unveiled the iPhone.

RIM clearly seems to have tried to copy Apple’s iPhone exterior look, but beyond that derivative bit of attempted tomfoolery, the anachronistic physical buttons remain, taking up tons of space whether or not they’re in use. Also remaining is the small screen, mashed into the upper half of the device in order to make room for those tiny, slippery-looking plastic buttons festooned all over the bottom half of the device.

The software’s UI has been prettied or messed up (depending on your taste), but it has none of the multi-touch goodness of Apple’s iPhone. It’s the same old, same old in an iPhone-inspired wrapper. And that should fail to inspire much confidence in RIM.

You can judge the distance behind and overall cluelessness of iPhone’s future roadkill by the amount they copy the iPhone’s exterior. See: LG, HTC, and now RIM, among many others. This ceaseless quest to dress up antiques in Apple veneer is pathetic and sad (e.g. Windows Vista).

If even I, iPhone Owner From Day One, expected a bit more from RIM, and I did, then those who expected RIM’s BlackBerry 9000 to be the company’s answer to Apple’s iPhone are in for a shocking and disheartening disappointment.

RIM, like Microsoft’s Windows, will continue to run on fumes for awhile, but if they fail to fuel up (innovate) they will eventually stop rolling. And RIM has but a fraction of Microsoft’s entrenchment.

What do I predict for RIM? In the immortal words of James “Clubber” Lang: “Pain.”

See Engadget Mobile’s gallery of BlackBerry 9000 photos here.

RIM BlackBerry 9000 User Interface:

Direct link via YouTube:
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Nick” for the heads up.]

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.


  1. Comical. This guy just doesn’t get it. Stick to Apple commentary and forget about stock predictions. RIM shareholders will not feel pain, but pleasure. The market is TOO BIG and growing TOO QUICKLY for just one company to succeed. iPhone will kill it, no doubt, but so will RIM. This just isn’t simply a binary result, one or the other. Both can grow massively as the smartphone adoption curve kicks in over the next few years. April 2nd will be the first indication when RIM reports earnings. I wonder if MDN will carry the following headline: “Beleaguered RIM posts over 100% revenue and earnings growth.” Flame away…

  2. Crazylegs,

    It’s next April, not this April, that RIM and their shareholders need to be worried about.

    iPhone SDK, Exchange support, iPhone 2.0 software, 3G next-gen iPhone – all coming starting in June.

    SteveJack is right, as usual.

  3. Crazylegs,

    Thanks for an intelligent comment. Once in a while, it’s nice to read one.

    Interesting that the endgadget reveiw was much more positive than Steve Jack’s. I think Rim’s cutomers and shareholders will remain very pleased (Currently, I own Apple stock, not Rim’s).

  4. I think RIM is probably the second best mobile outfit out there at the moment. Moto is spinning off, Nokia is uninspiring, everyone else is enslaved to Windows Mobile, which is never going anywhere. RIM is at least making an attempt at getting their act together, but they have the inertia of a huge installed base and more than a little hubris, though that is starting to wear off.

    Now what might be interesting is if Apple licenses the iPhone OS and its multi-touch patents. It’s pretty clear that no one can come up with a good touch interface, even thought they’ve have well over a year to copy Apple’s. Remember what a Bad Idea it was for Apple to announce 6 months before release? The Competition Will Catch Up! they said.

    This is all ya got?

    Color me Not Terribly Impressed.

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