CEOh-Snap! RIM Boss Plays iPhone Jeopardy

This. Is. iPhone JEOPARDY!

Welcome everyone to the smartphone space where competing CEO's answer in nothing resembling the form of a question. Lucky for us, however, they're quick on the buzzer and their bold, bodacious pontifications, more often than not, come right back to bite them on their assets.

"Why We're Not Worried about the iPhone" for 100

Previously on iPhone Jeopardy, smartphone innovator and Folio-smasher, Ed Colligan of Palm/Treo fame jumped on the iPhone launch:

"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

Strongly put. Let's go to the judges...

"Initial iPhone buyers were 10 times more likely than other new phone buyers to have previously owned a Treo."

Ouch! The correct answer seems to have been "Who are the Mac guys who walked in with a far more than a descent phone and dug into my lunch?" Better luck with Nova!

Daily Double-Talk

Next up was famed Microsoft CEO, monopolist, and internet dance phenom, Steve Balmer who went for the steal:

"You can get a Motorola Q for $99. [...] [Apple] will have the most expensive phone, by far, in the marketplace."
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance."

Really? Survey says!

The struggling American electronics company Motorola is considering breaking itself up through a sale or flotation of its poorly performing mobile phones business.
NPD's figures make Apple's Sept. quarter iPhone sales look even more stellar. Apple sold 1.12 million iPhones last quarter, representing 27% of NPD's U.S. smartphone market and 3% of the overall Q3 cellphone market.

D'oh! The correct answer looks to have been, "Who was hardly the most expensive and grabbed even more mindshare than their impressive first-year market share (not to mention dominating customer satisfaction reports) while companies I mentioned prepared to flee the space?" No bonus points for lack of bold ActiveSync licensing predictions. Come back next time with WinMob 7, b'okay?

Final Jeopardy!

Now we have current smartphone market leader RIM's business "pusher", and outage-plugger extraordinaire Mike Lazaridis taking "Post SDK Over-Reactions" for a thousand:

"Talk -- all I'm [hearing] is talk about [the iPhone's chances in Enterprise]. I think it's important that we put this thing in perspective." [...] "Apple's design-centric approach [will] ultimately limit its appeal by sacrificing needed enterprise functionality. I think over-focus on one blinds you to the value of the other." [...] "Apple's approach produced devices that inevitably sacrificed advanced features for aesthetics."

Final answer? Okay, pens down and no peeking!

Well, what do you think? Will RIM's success just keep on multiplying, or did the Blackberry Boss just gamble it all away?

Find out next time on iPhone Jeopardy!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

iPhone Risk: T-Mobile to Launch in Austria Tomorrow?

Next up →

Portable Gaming's Future?- Wait-a-Thon!

Reader comments

CEOh-Snap! RIM Boss Plays iPhone Jeopardy


lollers. Nice post -- I do think it's wrong-headed to knock Apple on Aesthetics over Functionality. Apple went with the soft keyboard for the functionality it offered in terms of screen size *and* aesthetics. Holistic.

Great post. As you mentioned on one of your recent podcasts, it isn't like these guys can come right out and say "Damn, the iPhone is owning us big time and we really don't have a strategy to fight back." Now they don't have to be as bold (read: moronic) as Balmer and make claims that turn out to be in 100% conflict with reality, but they have to puff up their chests and say something to reassure their investors. To that point Lazaridis' statements are probably the closest to anything resembling reality, but we'll see if that still holds true after we see what the first 6 months of 3rd party apps look like.