“R.I.M. may have trouble dominating the [smartphone] market’s next phase. Once the exclusive domain of e-mail-obsessed professionals, smartphones are now prized by consumers who want easy access to the Web, digital music and video even more than an omnipresent connection to their in-boxes,” Brad Stone reports for The New York Times.
“Since the iPhone went on sale last summer, amid long lines of shoppers and media adulation, the contours of the smartphone market have begun to shift rapidly toward consumers. An industry once characterized by brain-numbing acronyms and droning discussions about enterprise security is now defined by buzz around handset design, video games and mobile social networks,” Stone reports.
“That means R.I.M., which has historically viewed big corporations and wireless carriers as its bedrock customers, needs to alter its DNA in a hurry,” Stone reports. “While business is booming in Waterloo, analysts are raising an important question about R.I.M.’s future: Can a company that defined mobile e-mail for a generation of thumb-jockeys with bad posture also dominate the new consumer market for smartphones?”
“At the end of last year, BlackBerry had a 40 percent share of the United States smartphone market, down from 45 percent at the end of 2006, thanks largely to the 17.4 percent share the iPhone grabbed in its first six months,” Stone reports.
“In March, Mr. Jobs announced that Apple would take the rare step of licensing Microsoft’s corporate e-mail technology, to allow iPhones to connect directly to business computers — a dagger aimed at the heart of R.I.M.’s strength in the corporate market. In Apple’s quarterly conference call last week, Apple executives said that one-third of Fortune 500 companies were interested in giving iPhones to their employees,” Stone reports.
Apple, meanwhile, in an effort to further increase its appeal to consumers, is also expected to introduce a new 3G version of the iPhone in June, which will work on speedier wireless networks and may further attract a new segment of customers to the iPhone in the United States and abroad,” Stone reports.
RIM is working on a new BlackBerry, one that will feature a touchscreen and also a physical keyboard. The device “will have elegant curves suggestive of the iPhone,” Stone reports.
MacDailyNews Take: An iPhone case look-alike with a “touchscreen” that is not a Multi-Touch UI will not threaten iPhone.
Stone continues, “There’s a reason that R.I.M. is averse to the iPhone’s glass pad. ‘I couldn’t type on it and I still can’t type on it, and a lot of my friends can’t type on it,’ says Mike Lazaridis, R.I.M.’s co-chief executive and technological visionary. ‘It’s hard to type on a piece of glass.'”
MacDailyNews Take: No, actually it isn’t hard at all to type on a virtual predictive, auto-correcting keyboard, as any iPhone owner will tell you. RIM is trying to position their devices, that are festooned with plastic buttons that are always in the way whether they are in use or not, vs. the iPhone.
Stone continues, “Despite his critique of the iPhone, he does not dismiss the possibility that R.I.M. may itself one day sell a touch-screen phone, aimed specifically at consumers without the e-mail demands of BlackBerry’s core users. Indeed, two independent developers writing software for coming R.I.M. devices say that a touch-screen BlackBerry is in the works, and that R.I.M. engineers privately refer to it as the A.K. — for ‘Apple Killer.'”
Apple is “trying to dislodge the carriers from the nexus of the North American wireless market. Unlike other phone makers in the United States, Apple sells iPhones from its own stores and has negotiated relatively stingy contracts with the carriers, in exchange for limited periods of exclusivity,” Stone reports. Jim Balsillie, R.I.M.’s other co-chief executive says, “‘We are sort of polite and amiable and we gently interrelate with the carriers and try to find compatibility,’ Mr. Balsillie said. ‘It may be a better strategy to fight the carrier. We may be wrong. The carrier may get disintermediated, in which case we fade with them.'”
“In a survey this year of 3,600 professionals by ChangeWave, a research company, 54 percent of BlackBerry users said they were very satisfied with their devices,” Stone reports. “Even so, the BlackBerry was a distant second in the survey: the comparable figure for the iPhone was 79 percent.”
MacDailyNews Take: And those 54 percent had yet to touch an iPhone. RIM is in decline. Apple is ascendent.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: There are too many iPhone developers working with an excellent iPhone SDK with access to a $100 million (and that’s just the initial amount) venture capital fund for RIM to adequately compete. RIM is already getting killed; just look at the market share that iPhone 1.0 has already taken. RIM will continue to lose market share to Apple regardless of the number of fake iPhones based on old technology that RIM rolls out. As with the iPod, the only real “iPhone Killer” is the next-gen Apple iPhone.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]
R.I.M. is pretty close to R.I.P. if you ask me.
Okay, bottomline, he’s saying that touchscreen is very bad, but once they have done the development and negotiated around the patents Apple holds, they’ll offer one, too. WTF? Desperation! Apple caught them with their pants down.
okay, RIM is shooting apple in the foot with this one here is why…
all the die hard blackberry fanboys are going to get the new model, and hate it… and then they are going to tell themselves that the iphone must work the same way since the keyboard is on the screen…
Apple needs to make an iphone with the keyboard built in, … they dont.. but people are stupid… so they do… sorry..
“[…] ‘It may be a better strategy to fight the carrier. We may be wrong. The carrier may get disintermediated, in which case we fade with them.'”
…er, “disintermediated”? Could you translate that to English please, Mr. RIM-person?
And do these companies not realize that they need to stop using variations on the phrases “iPod Killer”, “iTunes Killer”, etc.? The fact that none of these “Apple Killers” have even remotely succeeded thus far only makes these people look foolish. Just by using the phrase “Apple Killer”, I reckon they’re already conjuring images of failure in peoples’ minds.
In March, Mr. Jobs announced that Apple would take the rare step of licensing Microsoft’s corporate e-mail technology…
OH GOD IT’S THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF APPLE!!!
Next M$ will make hardware requirements to use THIER email system and start dictating the demise of Apple.
Just like Intel has dictated the end of Apple using x86 based processors.
Apple went and bought a processor company….
Glossy screens cause eventual eye strain, eye muscle fatigue and premature need for glasses.
Don’t buy glossy screens, TV’s, computers etc that you’ll be staring at for long periods of time.
Glare screens are a pain in the arse.
You have been warned. And EFI is a backdoor into our computers, brought on by Intel and Microsoft…
…the evil Wintel allliance…
May the Force be with you, always…
I need a phone with a real keyboard (not a virtual one). I’ve tried the virtual keyboard on the iPhone and found it uncomfortable to use for typing. Maybe if the iPhone came with a stylus and virtual notepad application, but it would have to be a little bit bigger.
I also doubt that the iPhone is going to kill the RIM considering what a large costumer base they have.
>>MacDailyNews Take: There are too many iPhone developers working with an excellent iPhone SDK with access to a $100 million (and that’s just the initial amount) venture capital fund for RIM to adequately compete. RIM is already getting killed; just look at the market share that iPhone 1.0 has already taken. RIM will continue to lose market share to Apple regardless of the number of fake iPhones based on old technology that RIM rolls out. As with the iPod, the only real “iPhone Killer” is the next-gen Apple iPhone.
Great, but Apple’s itunes store is the only distributor of those applications. Anyone who makes their apps available at the online store needs to give their source code to Apple. A lot of companies aren’t going to be willing to do that even with a private section of the itunes store.
I never much liked my Blackberry. Traded it for an iPhone a month or so after they came out. I very much like my iPhone. RIM could not POSSIBLY win me back.
I love my iPhone and love the virtual keyboard. Like anything “different” it just takes a few minutes to get the hang of it. Apple is frickin awesome! My wife loves her iPhone too. If you don’t like it don’t use it and good luck with whatever you get. The iPhone is the answer to my needs and honestly it is a great product.
What, no MDN mention of iCal’ing this?
I love Apple and am heavily invested, and have used Macs since 1984. I have a Touch as I am in Canada. Since I am in the wireless industry and use a Blackberry daily, I really know the difference. And I am sorry, if i had to type all day on an iPhone I would go crazy. They do everything better than a Blackberry, except text. Period. If you type slowly then the iPhone is fine, and that is a good chunk of users. But for people like me typing 40wpm on the little keyboard, I could never see changing. I make way more errors on an iPhone and it takes much more to fix them.
Wait… I thought the RIM people said that the iPhone touch screen was stupid and people wouldn’t want to use it. Um, now I’m REALLY confused.
Obviously you’re a bit out of the loop on how software is distributed. Selling your apps through iTunes requires you to give them as much source as you’d have to give to Best Buy for a boxed copy. In other words, ZERO. You give them the built executable and they sell it.
@tt: The “die hard blackberry fans [sic]” are going to love the next BlackBerry regardless of its flaws and hate the iPhone regardless of its merit. Have you heard of Stockholm Syndrome? I’m sure MDN has referred to it a number of times when discussing Windows.
Mr Lazaridis is the president of the “No Thumbs” club
Forget the marketshare… take a look at the user satisfaction ratings for the Blackberry vs. the iPhone. Something like 80% or higher for the iPhone, and hovering around 50% for the Blackberry. I’ve used a Blackberry before and it definitely has a tortured user interface.
Rundown insufficient mobiles
BABAAABA, cough, BAAABAABAAABAABAABABABABABABABABA!
I will rule the world!