BlackBerry maker RIM thought Apple was lying about iPhone in 2007?

Over the weekend a former RIM employee stated that when Apple unveiled the first iphone at Macworld 2007, RIM had several emergency meetings which culminated with the BlackBerry maker deciding Apple was lying -- the iPhone wasn't possible.

RIM's opinion was that a phone with all of the 2007 iPhone's functionality and large touchscreen could not be used without being near a power supply at all times. Shacknews poster, Kentor, heard from his former colleagues:

The iPhone couldn't do what [Apple was] demonstrating without an insanely power hungry processor, it must have terrible battery life. Imagine their surprise [at RIM] when they disassembled an iPhone for the first time and found that the phone was battery with a tiny logic board strapped to it.

RIM's "Apple Killer", released as the BlackBerry Storm in 2008, was their response, but it wasn't until 2010's Torch that they began to close the multitouch and web browser gap. 2011 will see the introduction of their next generation platform, the QNX-powered BlackBerry Playbook, though in tablet form, not smartphone.

Could RIM, Microsoft, and Palm really have been in denial about the iPhone in 2007? Could Apple be in denial about any competitors today?

[ Electronista ]

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BlackBerry maker RIM thought Apple was lying about iPhone in 2007?

42 Comments

I don't think Apple doubts any of their competitors because of their advancements over the past year with hardware. Just look at the retin display and gorgeous construction of the iPhone 4.
Also look at how iOS has advanced since 2007, keeps adding features and functionality. Apple is clear favorite to stay at the pole position in the mobile industry.

The Storm 1 was so disappointing when I got it in May of last year. It wasn't until the 5.0 OS software got released that it started to become a halfway decent phone...until the camera decided to stop functioning. What a love/hate relationship I had with that phone.

That company is all about denials and the status quo. I'm site they were denoting the impact of the ipad too.

That company is all about denials and the status quo. I'm sure they also downplayed the ipad as well.

I worked for Cingular/AT&T when they released the Motorola Razr & the Apple iPhone. Those were two phones that other manufacturers when not ready for. I think the manufacturer that lost the most was Nokia. They are nothing in the U.S. market anymore. I remember our Nokia rep talking about the Razr killer, and how the iPhone OS would be years behind Nokia's Symbian platform. RIM is also taking it on the chin, I know of so many companies now supporting the iPhone because their employees want an iPhone and are willing to pay for them themselves.

I 100% agree with Pete. Apple with Steve at the helm has shown that it refuses to be complacent. Most companies in general simply like to rest on their laurels and rake in their profits. Apple has shown that the best way to make profits is to create them out of thin air with something that will shake up the industry. Everyone resting suddenly finds out that their lunch is getting eaten.

As soon somebody get a brand new blackberry and open the box, they are already obsolete. blackberry is a the stone age. and also they are useless devices.

RIM and Nokia are dying dinosaurs. Their OS was built for messaging purposes but not so much for media rich internet content. These companies have o wake up and reinvent themselves like Microsoft and Palm/HP is doing with their OS's. If they continue to be in denial they will be phased out by competition.

I hope palm comes out with something good because I really like the os, but it's very doubtful that itll be able to compete with anything iOS, because apple is so far in the lead with hardware and apps. We'll see. My 2011 phone purchase is really up in the air, but if I were to buy for diversity and functionality of apps, and not for trying to support a company that's behind because I like their os, its gnu probably be the iPhone 5

At mt last company they saddled me with a BB Storm (with os 5). What a POS both on the hardware and software side. When I finally left, that was the first thing I handed back to HR, glad to be rid of it.

@Pete - has the iOS advanced? I think not. Small, incremental changes, but compared to the Android OS, it seems a bit short on features.

@gquaglia Um, not to sound like an apple fanboy, but (as much of techdom will agree), when Android catches up to iOS, then we'll talk about 'short on features'.
iOS was advanced when it came out, and has gotten better with each update, but it's hard to give people huge updates when the core is already lightyears beyond what everyone else is doing.
Don't get me wrong, Android is a great OS, but it didn't become great until the latest build. I feel it's finally catching up, but it hasn't surpassed iOS.
The next thing I think that will be successful is WP7. Sadly, I think WebOS is dead in the water (hope I'm wrong).

I wish Yoda was around to advise them when they expressed their disbelief: "That is why you fail."

I agree with edwardo. Android wasn't really good untill 2.3, but the general ui is still crap. That's why you hear every android fanboy talking about honeycomb and how they can't wait for the ui update.

I had the original Storm and I too had a love/hate relationship with it. Mainly I loved hating it though. The clickable screen was a joke and the app selection was worse.

RIM could come back. Actually they haven't gone anywhere yet. Their window for competing in the super smart app phone market is getting smaller and smaller though.
They need to maintain their core market while getting the new QNX-AIR OS for phones out the door. They could ship it in the Fall of next year. The Playbook is their playground for making sure the new OS is properly tuned for mobile environments.
By next Fall, CPUs and GPUs will be powerful enough for it by then.
As for being in denial, well, lots of people were in denial post MWSF07. It's interesting that Google wasn't and made a 180 with Android and turn it from being a Blackberry clone to an iPhone clone so quickly.

I loved my Blackberries, now I love my iPhone. That being said, RIM isn't dead, I think they are retooling. I fully expect them to get back in the game in the next 18 months. The Playbook appears to be a great start.

RIM still has the corporate market, but even there they're losing ground and fast. One of their strengths was their solid infrastructure, they have had quite a few well publicized data outages in the past few years, I can think of five or so. Running a BES is much more expensive than ActiveSync clients, especially if people are bringing their own devices. iOS and Android have been gaining administration features (remote data wipe, etc) as well.
iOS set the bar for many years but now Android is bringing the heat with each version gaining more and more features. iOS has usability and polish left really with an above average hardware build that has also caused them pains (antennae and glass issues). Overall though I think the iphone4 still does offer the most polished and complete package in the mobile market as of right now for the average consumer and that will keep them quite profitable, for now. Put Honeycomb in iphone4 hardware with a larger screen and dual core I'd say most people would jump at it, pure speculation of course since it's an unreleased version but I'm extrapolating ;)

No matter what anybody does the iphone will dominate the top tier smartphone market. The iPhone may not be able to match the competition with you compare "features" side by side but what good are "features" if you don't use them. When Apple releases a product or updates IOS with new features they are "rarely" ever half baked. That's why so many people buy Apple products. Because they know Apple doesn't Half ass their work. While everyone is following the latest trend Apple made their own way through innovation. And until another company adopts this philosophy and remains dedication to its "proper" execution their products won't stand very tall next to Apple's. BUY IT ONCE, BUY IT RIGHT...

omg apple is so awesome! yayyyy. they do what the competition thinks is impossible! AWESOME

I tried a Storm 2 9550 once. It's nice to have notifications and fast chat. But in a month, I gave up and realize that what I truely wanted is an iPhone.
I didn't use a phone for phonecall and chat only. I also use it for browsing and have fun. It's a little hard for me to leave BBM especialy when all my friends are made a group. It's OK. Besides, BBM'll drain my battery life faster. So, iPhone is suite me perfectly perfect.

I don't think that RIM thought Apple was lying, just that RIM had overestimated the importance of battery life for consumers. In RIM's words, Apple could not make such a large, gorgeous device without "terrible" battery life. If you define "terrible" as "anything far short of our 3 day battery life," RIM was spot on; the iPhone battery is trerrible Where RIM failed is in thinking consumers would agree with their definition to the point of shaping their purchase decisions. Clearly, they have not; consumers have, at worst, found the iPhone's ~1 day battery to be "good enough," and the iPhone's superior feature set has been enough to carry the day.

wow RIM is making it seem like apple was the Tony Stark of the smartphone industry lol
"he made this machine in a cave...with scraps, and you cant do it?"-iron man quote

As for Apple being in denial about any competitors today, nah, Apple has stayed focused - and we should be on our knees thanking Android for that. With the implosion of Palm, WinMo, and now seemingly Nokia and RIM, Apple could have been in a position to rest on it's laurels for years while the competition wandered in the wilderness. That is not to say Jobs & Forstall would have relaxed, but Android has kept the pressure on enough that Apple has no option to relax, and that has helped us immensely.

RIM lost. They are still stuck in a mediocre formula that worked in 2005. They are technological dinosaurs that will be the next cell phone afterthought like the Palm series. Their OS is probably the most useless out of the three big OS's. Even after countless OS updates, they still have major glitches that make me want to throw the phone out of the window. Almost all of the last 10 releases with the exception of the ATT 9000 Bold have been horrendous given what their competition has put out.

I thought the Bold was good. Had a Bold9000 then jumped to a Storm2 9520 which was a terrible mistake. Shabby OS, lousy browser, slow processor and daily battery pulls got on my nerves. I do miss the push email and 2-way mailbox sync features which still makes a BlackBerry rock and BBM. BBM is what I miss most.
What drove me up the wall was the 'hourglass of death'!.
I'm with an iPhone4 now and happy with it. Occasionally still pulls out my Storm2 and connect to daily prepaid BIS just for the heck of it and ask friends to BBMe!

It makes sense that people would cast a skeptical eye at Apple, diving into the mobile space seemingly out of nowhere. I certainly didn't expect success and I didn't realize, like so many, that consumers wouldn't care that much about what power users called "the big things."
And...no one expected Apple to be as LUCKY As they were in the app space. If what I've heard is accurate, there was no Apple app store for the first year but the jailbreak community showed them the value that long-time smartphone users already perceived...and Apple responded well.
You may call that savvy, but that delay/misstep plus the missing features could have/should have been disastrous.

I have tried to send eMails and type text messages on an iPhone - I am reading ALL the comments about how a BlackBerry is an old device -- I spent a day with a friends iPhone4 -- I can't do the work on my emails or type on my text messages or BBM that I LOVE on my BOLD Blackberry -- I am praying that Blackberry gets with the program and creates what made them who they are -- A device, not a toy or something cool -- Just take what the iPhone OS and the Android OS and Microsoft OS is doing -- update it and KEEP the QWERTY system exactly the way you had it on the BOLD - you will have a HIT guarantied - ALSO if you do make BBM available to all smart phones, charge for the BBM app down load $9.99 for iPhones or other smart phones!