RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has become the latest to speak out against Steve Jobs’ tablet tirade, in which the Apple CEO dismissed 7-inch slates as unusable without first sandpapering your fingers down. In an open statement on RIM’s site, Balsillie says that “7-inch tablets will actually be a big portion of the market” and suggests that’s common knowledge “for those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field.” Meanwhile, he also suggests “many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple.”
Full statement after the cut
Balsillie also pulls Apple up on its comparisons of smartphone shipments, suggesting that the Cupertino company purposefully compared their own September-ending quarter – thus including the generally stronger September sales – with RIM’s August-ending quarter. The co-CEO also questions Apple’s previous quarterly shipments, questioning whether unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders were artificially inflating the most recent figures.
“Even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story” he concludes, and responses to TweetDeck CEO Iain Dodsworth certainly suggest there’s plenty of contrasting opinion on this latest element in the Apple story.
“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.” Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO, Research In Motion (RIM)