RIM’s co-CEO warns of Apple’s ‘distortion field’

Oct 21, 2010
Finance

Apple (APPL) CEO Steve Jobs took the opportunity at an earnings report this week to dump on his competitors, including Google (GOOG) and its fast-moving Android OS for smartphones, and Research In Motion (RIMM) and its BlackBerry and PlayBook tablet. Earlier in the week, we told you about a sarcastic tweet from Andy Rubin, father of […]

Apple (APPL) CEO Steve Jobs took the opportunity at an earnings report this week to dump on his competitors, including Google (GOOG) and its fast-moving Android OS for smartphones, and Research In Motion (RIMM) and its BlackBerry and PlayBook tablet.

Earlier in the week, we told you about a sarcastic tweet from Andy Rubin, father of Android, slapping down Jobs and his claim that Android isn’t as open as its supporters claim.

But Android Andy wasn’t the only one to enter the fray.

RIM finally reamed out Jobs in its Inside BlackBerry: The Official BlackBerry Blog.

Jobs had taunted RIM: “We’ve now passed RIM, and I don’t see them catching up with us in 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… RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.”

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie had a snappy retort.

He took a shot at Apple’s sales figures. “RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of $13.8 to $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…,” he said.

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Balsillie especially didn’t like Jobs’ cracks about 7-inch tablets, including RIM’s PlayBook, not comparing favorably with Apple’s hit iPad, and took a shot at Apple aversion to Abobe’s (ADBE) Flash.

Step out of the Apple ‘distortion field”

He said: “For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7-inch 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.”

Paul Miller in Engadget said: “Interesting that RIM is fighting Apple’s assertion of surpassing their handset shipments, we’ll have to see how that one settles once we get some “official” numbers from an unbiased third party. Meanwhile, let the mudslinging continue!”

Amen, brother.

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Howard Wolinsky

Howard Wolinsky is a Chicago freelance writer specializing in health and tech topics. He covered those beats for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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