RIM Co-CEO Fires Back At Steve Jobs Criticism
Earlier in the day, Google's Vice President of Engineering Andy Rubin and TweetDeck’s CEO Iain Dodsworth had responded to Steve Jobs’ anti-Android rant.
RIM’s co-CEO, Jim Balsillie has also fired back at Steve Jobs remarks that RIM would have to ‘move beyond their comfort zone and become a software company’ to catch up with Apple’s iPhone.
To recap, Steve Jobs had this to say about RIM at yesterday's conference call announcing Apple's Q4 financial results:
Let me discuss iPhone. We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, a 91% unit growth over year ago and way ahead of IDC's estimate of 64% growth for global smartphone market.
It handily beat RIM's 12.1 million Blackberries sold in their last quarter. We've now passed RIM. I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. It will be a challenge for them to create a mobile software platform and convince developers to support a third platform.
He then went on to take a dig at the 7-inch tablets from competitors:
Commenting on avalanche of tablets heading to market. Just a handful of credible entrants. Almost all use 7" screen, compared to iPad at nearly 10" screen. 7" screen is only 45% as large as iPad's screen. Hold an iPad in portrait view and draw a horizontal line halfway down. What's left is a 7" screen…too small. There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can't touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary.
The reason we won't make a 7-inch tablet isn't because we don't want to hit that price point, it's because we think the screen is too small to express the software.
We know developers aren't going to deal well with these different sizes and they have to change their software every time the screen size changes.
When we make decisions on 7-inch tablets it's not about cost, it's about the value of the product when you factor in the software.
We're all about making the best products at aggressive prices and that's what we do, and that's what we will do with the iPad and iPod.
Obviously it did not go too well RIM and their co-CEO Jim Balsillie responded to Steve Jobs with a strongly worded statement:
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.
Do you think Flash is a deal breaker? What do you think about RIM’s response?
[via The Globe And Mail]