RIM's co-CEO, Jim Balsillie has also fired back at Steve Jobs, who said during Apple's Q4 2010 conference call that RIM would need to change into a software company to catch up to iPhone and iPad. Balsillie's statement:

"For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7" tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple's attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 - 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple's preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM's August-ending quarter doesn't tell the whole story because it doesn't take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple's Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story."

It's strong words that, like Kevin says, is fast becoming a real tech soap opera. However, it's odd that Balsillie hangs so much of RIM's hat on the tired old rack that is Adobe Flash, especially when they have the new QNX OS-based hotness in the pipeline.

Does Flash answer the challenge of becoming a software-driven company, especially considering Flash doesn't currently run on BlackBerry either, and won't until the PlayBook ships next year?