Ex-CEO of Research-In-Motion (now Blackberry), Jim Balsillie left the company in 2012. He has recently been reported by the AP as saying that the iPhone killed BlackBerry. That seems to be the popular opinion too, but not everyone agrees.
Renowned mobile analyst, Tomi Ahonen, is one of them. He dismisses Jim’s statement as an indication of “how he wasn’t fit to run RIM” and then presents a timeline to prove that it was not the iPhone that killed Blackberry. Here are key points of Tomi’s argument:
- 2007-2009 iPhone was consumer fashion phone not accepted to enterprises. Blackberry was UGLY business phone accepted to enterprises.
- 2007 iPhone had no apps. 2008-2009 most of its apps consumer games not business apps. Blackberry had built enterprise apps since 2001
- 2007-2009 iPhone was touch-screen and large screen, camera & media. Blackberry was keypad entry and small screen, didn’t even have camera.
- 2007-2009 there were no 2 smartphone brands more opposite and distant from each other than Blackberry & iPhone. Like a Ferrari vs Hummer.
- But the proof is in the pudding. When Apple had its strong growth period (2007-2010) did Blackberry grow or fall? IT GREW TOO.
- The iPhone grabbed huge chunks of market share from 2007 to 2010. But not from Blackberry WHICH ALSO GREW (and was bigger than iPhone).
- What iPhone killed was Palm, Motorola & Windows Mobile from 2007 to 2010. Blackberry was immune to the iPhone. Only IDIOT CEO says otherwise.
- Blackberry COLLAPSEd. It didn’t die a normal slow death by competition. It self-imploded. It shot itself in the foot. How? Launching tablet.
- Blackberry’s fall happened AFTER the big growth period by iPhone was over. But BB fall happened PERFECTLY in synch with tablet fiasco.
There you go. This is really god subject matter for a debate. Where do you stand? With Jim or Tomi? or perhaps you have another line of thought. Let’s hear it!
PS: Interesting though that the RIM ex-CEO says he still uses a BlackBerry Bold and says it has to be pried out of his “cold, dead hands”.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.