BlackBerry Maker Responds to Steve Jobs Comments

pic via crackberry

Leave it to Apple CEO Steve Jobs to anger people and companies. The man is almost as good at the art of infuriating as he is at developing high tech products people are willing to wait in line hours for to get their hands on. His latest comments that have set the internet abuzz? He said 7” is too small for a tablet, bashed on Google and bragged about passing Research In Motion (RIM) in terms of smartphone sales.

RIM obviously was less than pleased by Jobs comments. The company is working on its own 7” tablet, has recently launched a new version of its BlackBerry operating system (BB OS 6) and will have a number of new BlackBerrys on the market this year. Cue RIM’s President and Co-CEO Jim Basillie.

Basillie shot back by saying that the 7” form factor the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet uses will find a “big portion” of the market. He went on to say that Adobe Flash is something customers want on their tablets—Apple refuses to put Flash player on its iOS devices—and stated that the sales figures Apple is using to claim more sales than RIM are not easy to compare. So who is right?

Apple might just be trying to deflect away from speculation that the company is indeed working on its own 7” iPad 2. The 7” tablet market is indeed going to explode soon, but so many companies are releasing products at that screen size that it might be hard for the PlayBook to differentiate itself. If Apple really does release a 7” iPad despite Jobs’ comments, I’ll laugh. It wouldn’t be out of character for Jobs either.

The PlayBook is expected to have hardware accelerated Adobe Flash 10.1 support. Basillie is right that consumers want Flash content on their mobile devices. The only problem is that while it’s true that there is no Flash on iOS, there is no Flash on BlackBerry either… the ball is in your court on this one Adobe.

Finally, the sales figures quandary. RIM reports financial earnings in quarters with the most recent ending in August. Apple’s most recent quarter ended in September. Thus, the sales figures are comparing two periods off by a month. RIM’s quarter? 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerrys sold. Apple’s iPhone sales? 14.1 million. It’s pretty much a tie with RIM being hampered by not having the traditionally strong September on its books yet and Apple facing supply issues earlier in the year.

Let me know who you think is right.

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