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RIM thought iPhone was impossible in 2007

updated 11:15 am EST, Mon December 27, 2010

RIM thought Apple was lying on iPhone in 2007

RIM had a complete internal panic when Apple unveiled the iPhone in 2007, a former employee revealed this weekend. The BlackBerry maker is now known to have held multiple all-hands meetings on January 10 that year, a day after the iPhone was on stage, and to have made outlandish claims about its features. Apple was effectively accused of lying as it was supposedly impossible that a device could have such a large touchscreen but still get a usable lifespan away from a power outlet.

The iPhone "couldn't do what [Apple was] demonstrating without an insanely power hungry processor, it must have terrible battery life," Shacknews poster Kentor heard from his former colleagues of the time. "Imagine their surprise [at RIM] when they disassembled an iPhone for the first time and found that the phone was battery with a tiny logic board strapped to it."

Friends who were Microsoft employees at the time were also said to have had a similar reaction.

He further added that RIM, as well as Motorola, Nokia, Palm and other early pioneers, lost ground partly because of a self-defeating attitude. RIM in particular assumed from the start that smartphones would be outgrowths of its pagers and that there would never be enough battery life or wireless technology for more functions. It started growing beyond this view before the iPhone shipped, but the OS foundation until recently was based on the early assumption.

The remarks confirm a widely held belief that BlackBerry Storm development started only after the iPhone was made public rather than having been in development at all before. RIM didn't have its first touchscreen phone until the Storm shipped in late 2008, almost two years after the iPhone's unveiling, and didn't have multi-touch support or a fully accurate web browser until the Torch arrived just this past summer. Apple is now gradually overtaking RIM in market share and is being quickly joined by Android, which now makes up the majority of Verizon sales just a year after the BlackBerry was the carrier's top earner.

RIM may be poised for a comeback as it has promised an aggressive 2011 roadmap, but virtually all of what it will do outside of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is a mystery.


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By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. redcapzero

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +19

    comment title

    WOW, talk about "think(ing) different"...

  1. Geoduck

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +30

    Bite me RIM

    "RIM may be poised for a comeback as it has promised an aggressive 2011 roadmap,"

    But don't expect me to join up. I have a BB that my company makes me carry. I hate the device, the OS, it's browser, and everything about it. I'll go without a cell before I own any BB product.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    +20

    former BB owner

    So many people loved their BB's that I tried one for a while. I was completely unimpressed.

    Even now why they don't put a touch screen on the 9780 I have no idea. Yes, keep the keyboard and the trackpad, but when there is a big button on the screen, it begs to be touched. But the screen is dead...dead, dead, dead.

    Beyond that, they keep shipping the thing with last years processors and limited memory.

    If your app store is already weak, at least have a healthy phone...there is nothing to brag about or really like in your BB.

    Push e-mail, I guess thats still the feature, which I didn't even use because of the extra $10 a month fee, I just used regular email.

    Android I like - iOS still the best, but as of this writing it requires AT&T so I'm happy with my android phone.

  1. climacs

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +19

    @Geoduck

    can't tell you how many corporate types who work with two phones: the BB which corporate bought for them to use for work, and an iPhone for everything else.

    I have NEVER seen any such folks who have two phones, whose personal phone is not an iPhone...

  1. samirsshah

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010

    +7

    comment title

    "Friends who were Microsoft employees at the time were also said to have had a similar reaction."

    Just think, other companies are having a similar reaction about Kinect (lag, accuracy, hard core etc).

    When an innovative, successful product does not come form your stable it is "bound" to have problems...

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001

    +33

    John Dvorak...

    Dvorak urged Apple to cancel the iPhone lest it ruin the company. No way could it compete in the cellphone market. The big boys like Nokia and RIM would feast on its bones and Apple would be no more. Or so said John C. Dvorak in 2007.

  1. James Katt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +14

    Blackberry is so stupid

    The reason Blackberry is falling behind the iPhone is that it, as a company, is so stupid. And it starts from the top - the bumbling CEO.

    Duh. To be surprised that most of the iPhone is battery and that the logic board was miniaturized shows a ghastly lack of imagination, creativity, and foresight.

    Blackberry was caught with its pants down, sitting on the toilet.

    It has been trying to catch up every since.

    But given the lack of talent at Blackberry, I doubt that it will ever catch up to Apple.

    As Steve Jobs said, Blackberry is already in the rear view mirror, and falling farther into the distance.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. xmlaroux

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -44

    @climacs

    I can tell you I see about 50 engineers here, we all carry BB's issues by corporate, and 80% of us have Android phones... and the other 20% have iPhones. Most iphone users are switching to Android because they get tired of having to re-jailbreak their i-products everytime an IOS update comes out. Plus they keep hearing us talk about all the cool features we get with our rooted OS devices.

    Either way, RIM missed the boat. Microsoft had to re-vamp the boat, and well.... IOS still leads the masses, but Android gets it and is pushing the market now. The tablet OS will now take off with Android 3.0, and a plethra of great inexpensive tablets for all are starting to arrive. I like the iPad, it is a very nice device. Overpriced? Yep! Short on features? Yep!!!

    Comment buried. Show
  1. xmlaroux

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010

    -51

    @climacs

    I can tell you I see about 50 engineers here, we all carry BB's issues by corporate, and 80% of us have Android phones... and the other 20% have iPhones. Most iphone users are switching to Android because they get tired of having to re-jailbreak their i-products everytime an IOS update comes out. Plus they keep hearing us talk about all the cool features we get with our rooted OS devices.

    Either way, RIM missed the boat. Microsoft had to re-vamp the boat, and well.... IOS still leads the masses, but Android gets it and is pushing the market now. The tablet OS will now take off with Android 3.0, and a plethra of great inexpensive tablets for all are starting to arrive. I like the iPad, it is a very nice device. But is it Overpriced? Yep! Short on features? Yep!!!

  1. climacs

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +39

    anecdote is not the singular form

    of data... was just passing along a story

    Interesting that you state that engineers like Android. The corporate types I was talking about were all marketing people. So it is not surprising to me that engineers - who love to tinker - would like Android and the deep customization available. While marketing types - decidedly not technophiles - would choose iPhone. They don't really want to be bothered with being able to tinker with the phone OS. They just want it to work and work well. That's what iPhone does.

    Most people are not engineers and while it's nice that Android can be deeply customized... most people would not and will not bother with it. They are either intimidated by technology or too busy to bother with futzing around with Android.

    I wouldn't knock Android at all, it's one of the few decent competitors in any field where Apple dominates. Ultimately I think Android is destined to be second banana, there are some significant advantages to Apple and iOS' implementation versus Android and how cell phone makers - historically very poor with phone operating systems - have chosen to implement Android. But that's another discussion.

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