Should Blackberry Attack Apple?
I have to convince friends, colleagues and the throngs who stop me in the checkout line that I'm not staging some wacky and zany financial media joke that will end on the day BlackBerry introduces the "Zed 10" in the U.S. It ain't no thang. I'm surprised more people do not launch the same BlackBerry-vs.-Microsoft thesis. Once it becomes obvious -- just like Tim Cook/Steve Jobs-related Apple (AAPL) concerns -- they will. And, in what would be a wacky and zany financial media joke , I will play the poor soul who receives no credit for being first.
But, for as bullish as I am, I'm a little miffed that BBRY CEO Thorsten Heins didn't choose his words more carefully when he essentially ripped Apple the other day . His comment along the lines of the iPhone platform is five years old, so it's passé reeks of the same type of cluelessness Steve Ballmer displayed when he laughed at the notion of an iPhone or James Balsillie showed when he claimed apps were a passing fad . Clearly, an iPhone loaded with apps was not merely a figment of Steve Jobs's imagination or his reality distortion field.
Who cares if the iPhone platform is five years old? It could be 10 or 20; it's still the best. It owns mindshare and that's not changing anytime soon. Thankfully, Apple will not do a "cheap iPhone" as some sort of ploy to snag marketshare. That institution rolls on. Yes, Apple needs to do something new , however, it doesn't have to do anything with iPhone. At least not some half-assed rollout of unimaginative features like Samsung showed us this week .
It needs something that will extend its dominance. Something that will keep Apple lifers Apple lifers. That's the point guys like Ballmer, Balsillie and now Heins miss. iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macbooks pretty much just evolve. And that's OK. Apple lifers continue to buy them at regular intervals. To stay sticky beyond reiterations of these legacy devices, Apple has to come up with something new.
I keep my Diesel jeans when they're ragged and end up springing for a new pair. I will likely always buy Diesel jeans; in fact, if they changed them too much, I might switch. But, to become more of a Diesel lifer, they need to come up with something new that excites me. Pretty straightforward.
I would have loved to see Heins take more of a Dominos Pizza (DPZ) approach.
Hey, listen, here at BlackBerry we pioneered this smartphone category. Apple came along and flat crushed us. Now, we're back and we have learned a lesson. We have been humbled. And we're going to prove ourselves after several years of embarrassment.