The Inside Story of How the iPhone Crippled BlackBerry

I missed this excerpt from Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry, by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, when it ran in the WSJ two weeks ago. It’s a good read:

The iPhone’s popularity with consumers was illogical to rivals such as RIM, Nokia Corp. and Motorola Inc. The phone’s battery lasted less than eight hours, it operated on an older, slower second-generation network, and, as Mr. Lazaridis predicted, music, video and other downloads strained AT&T’s network. RIM now faced an adversary it didn’t understand.

“By all rights the product should have failed, but it did not,” said David Yach, RIM’s chief technology officer. To Mr. Yach and other senior RIM executives, Apple changed the competitive landscape by shifting the raison d’être of smartphones from something that was functional to a product that was beautiful.

“I learned that beauty matters…. RIM was caught incredulous that people wanted to buy this thing,” Mr. Yach says.

Sounds to me like they still don’t understand the appeal of the iPhone. It wasn’t (and isn’t) only about beauty. It’s about being a real, true, personal computer in your pocket or purse.

Update: Here’s a link to work around the WSJ’s paywall.

Saturday, 6 June 2015