It’s the heavyweight battle of the fruit; Apple versus Blackberry for control of the smart phone market. RIM’s (Research in Motion) Blackberry has become the system of choice for the upper end of the market including corporate types. Meanwhile, in classic style, Apple’s efforts to crack that sector have met with mixed results and continuing complaints of security troubles from IT departments.
But this time, it’s different. The new iPhone is targeted directly at consumers, a market sector where Blackberry has had little serious competition. Like the resurgent Mac before it, the iPhone has a built in legion of Apple faithful as well as a large consumer base waiting for a competitive alternative to the Blackberry option. Despite early troubles, the iPhone just may be it. At least one industry watcher gives the early betting line to Apple and has downgraded RIM stock from “Hold” to “underperform” – about the same as a sell recommendation. Needham & Company’s Charlie Wolf, sees lower earnings and profits ahead for RIM and a pitched battle for the smart phone space.
If, as Wolf believes, software is the next battle ground for the smart phone sector, then the new Apple Apps store may be the winning trump card for Steve Jobs. It’s the ultimate irony: Jobs and Apple win this new “computer” battle by opening their system and unleashing the energy of the Apple zealots to build third party applications for the company they love. Imagine the world today if only Jobs had seen that light 20 years ago. Read more.