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BlackBerry's reach, deals to help fight iPhone

updated 03:15 pm EDT, Mon July 21, 2008

RBC on BBerry vs iPhone 3G

The deals Research in Motion is willing to make will help keep the BlackBerry out of harm's way and prevent it from clashing with the iPhone, says RBC analyst Mike Abramsky. The researcher dismisses Needham Research claims that the iPhone 3G is a direct threat to the BlackBerry and points out that Apple has artificially limited its deals in some countries, particularly in the US; while the iPhone is available only through AT&T, BlackBerries are available through both AT&T and T-Mobile and are also available through 13 other carriers in CDMA versions.

Equally important is RIM's willingness to let go of absolute control of the experience, Abramsky says. Although Apple insists on the same layout for every iPhone sold and insists on pointing customers to chosen online services, RIM allows carriers to customize BlackBerries and to sell customers their own services, making each phone unique. As a result, the Canadian smartphones are said to be more appealing to carriers, which often get much of their extra revenue from sales of ringtones and other minor extras.

The release of the BlackBerry Thunder in the fall may also play into RIM's hands, the RBC analyst adds, as those carriers locked out of offering the iPhone but still carrying the Thunder, such as Verizon and Vodafone, can promote the touchscreen BlackBerry as the primary alternative to Apple's hardware. Verizon has been offering multiple touchscreen phones and is believed to be devising a large marketing effort for the Thunder when it ships in October.

Abramsky also makes claims similar to those from a Canaccord Adams report that argue RIM is still in a different category than Apple, focusing primarily on business customers rather than home users. Apple is only just entering the medium-to-large business environment with Exchange data, remote wipe, and VPN support that are considered necessary in many businesses, leaving it relatively inexperienced versus RIM.

By Electronista Staff


  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000



    my own anecdotal evidence shows there were 5 people in line with me this Sunday morning who were replacing their Blackberries with iPhones. I was actually surprised to see that.

  1. jhawk95

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    What a joke!

    "As a result, the Canadian smartphones are said to be more appealing to carriers, which often get much of their extra revenue from sales of ringtones and other minor extras."

    Because "To h***" with the actual customer. Let the carriers nickel and dime them to death and lock up all the useful features on the phone, as long as RIM makes their money.

    That is precisely why the iPhone is already kicking A$$. Smart consumers who want to use technology the way they want to are tired of being charged double to get music, videos and other entertainment on their phones.

    And let's not even talk about how hard it is to sync data on those other phones. And without an "enterprise" phone setup, show me one other phone on the market that lets Joe Consumer (Not a buseness phone) keep everything on their phone, their home computers and on a website with all the features and the seemlessness of the iPhone / Apple experience.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    different business models

    RIM sells their phones to carriers. Apple's sells their phones to people. It's a totally different market.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999



    "RIM allows carriers to customize BlackBerries and to sell customers their own services, making each phone unique."

    Wow it kinda sounds good when you say it like that. Of course what that really means is that carriers (especially Verizon) to disable useful features and make you pay for their own versions, as well as make it harder to use. And nobody gets that this is why people buy iPhones.

  1. MacnnChester

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007



    Typical marketing, supply-side economics - "It's all about the corporations, not the consumer." This is the analysis that hasn't figured out that creativity is as important as stability. What about GM do they not get? MBA stupidity.

    Steve is in this to change the market, lead the market, not efficiently execute what is already there. The problem with the supply-side mindset is that it thinks strong business is the goal, when it is really just a means to a goal - improving human experience.

    "...RIM's willingness to let go of absolute control of the experience..." Read that as RIM's willingness to sell things rather than improve things. This means that RIM, which is a good company with great products, will not and can not invest in the true heart of the new smartphones - the OS. In the end RIM can imitate the touch features and the big screens, but it can't create OSX (of course neither can MS) and so they will always be limited in a way that some of would not want to be limited.

    There is plenty of room for both. RIM keeps the thumb-typing geeks in huge corporations and Apple gets the rest.

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