Rumor: RIM's Apple Killer is... er... the iPhone?!


Rumors recently swirled about a super-secret RIM development project affectionately dubbed AK (for Apple Killer) that would help Blackberry not only retain market share in face of the iPhone juggernaut, but regain mind share which has wholly become the property of Apple as of late:

..two independent developers writing software for coming R.I.M. devices say that a touch-screen BlackBerry is in the works, and that R.I.M. engineers privately refer to it as the A.K. — for “Apple Killer.”

Would it be another iClone like the 9000? Would it be the fabled touchscreen Blackberry?

Turns out RIM's Apple Killer might just be... er... the iPhone?

Apple Insider highlights a new "confidential" job posting way up Waterloo way:

"As part of a newly-created team, you’ll influence the development and design of BlackBerry software. This is a very confidential brand new team and a senior position within RIM so I can't provide too many details. I guess you can figure out what it might be about though."

While the position itself calls for Objective C, Cocoa, UI, AJaX, BT, and USB experience, and some have speculated that it could be a serious attempt by RIM to bring some 1st party, Mac native sync capabilities to the email monster, the more interesting rumor-mongers are rumor-mongering RIM apps for the iPhone SDK: Blackberry Connect anyone?

Personally, I don't see RIM losing the one advantage they have, Crackberry addictive "push" email by giving the keys of the kingdom to Apple (though they have made Blackberry Connect for other platforms). Besides, they're already copying the design and flirting with the touchy-feely interface, so why go developer now? Then again, Canadians are a polite people, so who knows?

What do you think?

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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+.

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Reader comments

Rumor: RIM's Apple Killer is... er... the iPhone?!


I think those two rumors are unrelated. One is a software rumor, the other hardware.
1. Apple has announced that iPhone 2.0 will support "push" email from Exchange. RIM has to match this by providing BlackBerry Connect client software for the iPhone.
2. RIM is also looking at a touch screen BlackBerry.

Lolz: I just explained the caption to CrackBerry Kevin:
1) Im in ur base, killin ur mans --- old school gaming smacktalk telling somebody that you've infiltrated their base and are killing them. Basically the first part is "we're going to develop an iPhone killer"
2) can has iphone - i can has cheezburger. Reference to lolcats who desperately want a cheesburger but can't quite get it.
so: I'm going to develop an iPhone killer, but can I please do it by living in your shadow?

Software is an infinitely more profitable business than hardware; if RIM slowly loses hardware share to Apple, and starts licensing its Enterprise-level software to Apple and its service partners, it would be a great long-term strategy.
By slowly giving attrition to Apple's share, it would seem like short-term sell-off, but brilliant in the long run. My opinion, US$.10 (adjusted for inflation).

Some software is profitable to some degree, just like hardware, and just like some services. Many companies lose money on software, some tank completely. Just like Apple makes bank on hardware...