RIM’s half-CEO Balsillie dismisses Apple iPhone threat; says apps key to BlackBerry’s future

MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale“Research In Motion’s top executives say the BlackBerry will hold its ground in a fierce battle with Apple’s iPhone and other rivals, even as a boom in smartphone sales shakes up a market segment that their company once ruled,” Wojtek Dabrowski reports for Reuters.

“Shares of RIM have tumbled almost 30 percent since late September as analysts downgraded the stock,” Dabrowski reports. “Their concern is that an invasion of new smartphones from the likes of Apple and Nokia will erode the BlackBerry’s dominance as North America’s top selling smartphone brand.”

MacDailyNews Take: Nokia? LOL. Otherwise, the anaylsts’ concerns are well-founded.

Dabrowski reports, “RIM’s co-chief executives say the company has weathered similar storms in the past… ‘When we went public everyone was saying, ‘Oh my God, you’re going to get crushed by Motorola, Ericsson and paging and this emerging Nokia,” said Jim Balsillie, one of RIM’s co-CEOs… This has played before, several times. All that’s different is there’s a couple more zeros on everything.”

“Worldwide, Nokia is the top smartphone maker, according to Gartner data, with a 39.3 percent market share. RIM, which employs more than 13,000 people around the world, is second with share of 20.8 percent. Apple is third with 17.1 percent,” Dabrowski reports.

“The company also sees great potential in designing applications or ‘apps’ for its handsets that blend data from several sources,” Dabrowski reports. “For example, instead of a simple calendar with notifications, the company is looking at a calendar which would notify the user of road traffic or weather problems which could affect their ability to make a scheduled meeting.”

MacDailyNews Take: RIM is doomed due to their leaders’ near total lack of both vision and imagination. When it comes to RIM and Apple, two CEOs are not better than one.

Dabrowski continues, “That increased breadth, depth and integration of such software will be a key driver of growth in BlackBerry sales, Lazaridis and Balsillie said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Delusional half-CEOs fighting each other to see who can jam their heads deeper into the sand. In a report from Millennial Media and Mobclix, RIM was estimated to have 3,100 applications vs. Apple’s catalog of 115,000. BlackBerry users download about 0.3 million apps per month vs. Phone users’ 100 million downloads per month.

Full article here.

31 Comments

  1. “(…) BlackBerry users download about 0.3 million apps per month vs. Phone users’ 100 million downloads per month.”

    This only proves that iPhone users are a bunch of spoiled kids. But… there are many more spoiled kids than serious business users.

  2. “For example, instead of a simple calendar with notifications, the company is looking at a calendar which would notify the user of road traffic or weather problems which could affect their ability to make a scheduled meeting.”

    Ooh! How about a weather forecast app with a built in calendar!!!

  3. As a former blackberry user, I can tell you why the downloaded app comparison is a good one. It was very difficult to find apps, as well as to load them onto the blackberry. When I did load them onto the BB, they did not always work, or not like expected. It took way to long to find and then load. I could not search for the apps from my BB, it had to be from a computer.

    With my iPhone, as an example, the first time I was on my way to the airport, after getting my iPhone, I searched, found, and installed a flight tracker app. I found the flight, and new the arrival time had been delayed, all within 5 minutes.

    Yes the iPhone is fun, but it is also very serious when it needs to be.

  4. Though I usually agree with MDN and I’m as strong an advocate for Apples as anyone, a little humility regarding RIM would be in order. RIM is FAR from “beleaguered” despite their recent stock decline. RIM’s smartphone market share growth last quarter was roughly comparable to that of the iPhone. That may not continue, and I hope iPhone trounces them, but that has NOT happened yet. Nokia, Moto and Palm are obviously in trouble. Rim? No evidence of that so far.

  5. MDN said: “RIM was estimated to have 3,100 applications vs. Apple’s catalog of 115,000. BlackBerry users download about 0.3 million apps per month vs. Phone users’ 100 million downloads per month.”
    What’s your point? RIM had apps before the iPhone existed. 3,100 apps is more than ten times as many as the vast majority of iPhone users collect, even though the iPhone has more than twenty times the choices. You offer snide Red Herrings while RyanC offers “It was very difficult to find apps, as well as to load them onto the Blackberry. When I did load them onto the BB, they did not always work, or not like expected. It took way to long to find and then load. I could not search for the apps from my BB, it had to be from a computer. “. And THAT is the more important. It’s less about how many “fart” apps you can collect and more about how many easy-to-use and useful apps you can find, apply, and use.

  6. I have used Many Blackberry, an IPhone, as well as Windows mobile devices… I am a power user in ever sense of the word.

    RyanC, When were you using your blackberry, because they certainly do have an on device application library, and it installs apps pretty seamlessly. Plus, I don’t know what you were looking for by if there is a practical use for an app the blackberry has it, same with windows mobile.

    115000 apps and how many would you install again lets say 50 at most, not to mention at least 7 out of every 10 apps in that count are completely pointless or are terrible and practically nonfunctional.

    The IPhone has ONE saving grace, it is very user friendly, a perfect entry in to the smartphone world. The fact is once you want real functionality, the ability to really do anything with your phone you need a BB or a WM Device. (of course Nokia N Series are pretty good as well)

    You know what RyanC With out hacking my phone with a blackberry or windows mobile device, not only can I get the flight status, but while waiting for the plan I can set my phone up as a wireless network and browse from my laptop, I can use a voice command to do that meaning I don’t even have the pull the phone out of my pocket. never mind tethering.

    Oh did I mention that on the way to the airport, With my BB or WM Device, I can be listening to music through my phone, let the wife play on facebook, all the while getting turn by turn voice directions to the airport of which I just checked my flight status (with out having to enter the address) With a accurately calculated time until arrival. Then after surfing the net on my laptop using the wifi router app on my phone, and watching a couple movies on my flight, I can just pull out the spare battery, and be good to go for another long bout between chances to charge.

    This isn’t only theoretical in fact I do this exact thing about once a month.

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