RIM’s half-CEO: We think customers getting tired of being told what to think by Apple

Apple Online StoreYesterday, Apple CEO and tech visionary Steve Jobs had this to say about Research In Motion:

We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter which represents a 91% unit growth over the year ago quarter and was well ahead of IDC’s latest published estimate of 64% growth for the global smartphone market in the September quarter. And it handily beat RIM’s 12.1 million BlackBerries sold in their most recent quarter ending in August. We’ve now passed RIM. And I don’t see them catching up with us for the foreseeable future. They must move beyond their area of strength and comfort into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple’s App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.

RIM’s half-CEO Jim Balsillie took the bait, hook, line, and sinker and responded today:

For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7″ tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple’s preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM’s August-ending quarter doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple’s Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.

MacDailyNews Take: So, who to believe? The man who’s changed the world multiple times with Apple ][, Macintosh, NeXT/Mac OS X, iMac, iPod, iTunes, iTunes Store, Pixar, iPhone, App Store, and iPad, to mention a few, or a man who requires a co-CEO to help him get through day? Tough choice: The visionary vs. the nobody; the man who successfully ran two companies for years or the guy who can’t even run half a company properly.

Flash? Strike one. 7-inch tablet with an badly outclassed OS? Strike two. Never-ending Buy One Get One Free carrier promotions that artificially inflate unit sales of antiquated phones festooned with plastic mechanical buttons? Strike three. You’re out! And that’s before we get to the complete lack of competitive ecosystems for third-party accessories and apps. Even grandma knows BlackBerry phones are old-fashioned relics from the past.

As we said months ago: RIM is a dead company walking whether or not they can admit it to the world or even to themselves.

Concentrate on making failed bids for NHL teams, Jimmy. Your epitaph: He neglected his business, sat on his laurels, and failed his employees and shareholders while quixotically chasing after NHL teams and spouting nonsense.

176 Comments

  1. Funny……. I think people would rather not have their mobile browser crash to Flash.

    Business class 7 inch tablet…….. This is going to be fun to watch. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Yup, there they go thinking again.

    Stop sitting on your lazy duff and actually try to make a product for the future. The buy on and get ever how many free promotion will not help you in the long term. Apple is now matching you!

    A deer in the headlight-Look out for that kill shot!

  3. Yup, there they go thinking again.

    Stop sitting on your lazy duff and actually try to make a product for the future. The buy on and get ever how many free promotion will not help you in the long term. Apple is now matching you!

    A deer in the headlight-Look out for that kill shot!

  4. For a dead company walking, they sure sell a lot of phones… Much like Microsoft, selling a lot of Windows (and Office).

    Yesterday, Steve cast that fishing line deep, and today, Google and RIM fans have already swallowed that hook (never mind line and sinker).

    The greatest part about that is their combative, defensive tone. They are royally pissed off, and they are allowing themselves to say things that they likely know very well will bite them in the posterior fairly soon.

    The lowest point was the part about “how many of those 14 million iPhones were stuffed into channels”, when almost everyone on this planet knows about Apple’s famous (and absurdly short) inventory time of 3-4 weeks. When you unpack a fresh new iPhone (or iPad, or iPod), you can still smell the B.O. of the person who assembled it, merely a few weeks earlier…

  5. For a dead company walking, they sure sell a lot of phones… Much like Microsoft, selling a lot of Windows (and Office).

    Yesterday, Steve cast that fishing line deep, and today, Google and RIM fans have already swallowed that hook (never mind line and sinker).

    The greatest part about that is their combative, defensive tone. They are royally pissed off, and they are allowing themselves to say things that they likely know very well will bite them in the posterior fairly soon.

    The lowest point was the part about “how many of those 14 million iPhones were stuffed into channels”, when almost everyone on this planet knows about Apple’s famous (and absurdly short) inventory time of 3-4 weeks. When you unpack a fresh new iPhone (or iPad, or iPod), you can still smell the B.O. of the person who assembled it, merely a few weeks earlier…

  6. I still find it curious and even a bit disturbing that the norma;;y quite SJ was essentially running off at the mouth yesterday. While he may be right on every point, he has rarely laid into competitors like he did yesterday. I have this theory, that has rarely been wrong unfortunately, that when you draw too much attention to yourself and/ or your company in the manner SJ did yesterday, something is not going right. It is all very peculiar.

  7. I still find it curious and even a bit disturbing that the norma;;y quite SJ was essentially running off at the mouth yesterday. While he may be right on every point, he has rarely laid into competitors like he did yesterday. I have this theory, that has rarely been wrong unfortunately, that when you draw too much attention to yourself and/ or your company in the manner SJ did yesterday, something is not going right. It is all very peculiar.

  8. My employer provided me with a BlackBerry and I really hate this piece of plastic crap with its 90s UI. Fortunately, I own an iPhone. People who say they love their BlackBerry have never really experienced an iPhone or just make phone calls. As more and more people experience iOS, RIMM will suffer.

  9. My employer provided me with a BlackBerry and I really hate this piece of plastic crap with its 90s UI. Fortunately, I own an iPhone. People who say they love their BlackBerry have never really experienced an iPhone or just make phone calls. As more and more people experience iOS, RIMM will suffer.

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