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10/19/2010
04:15 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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RIM Pulls No Punches, Faults Apple's 'Distortion Field'

Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie felt compelled to respond to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' outburst on Monday and defended RIM's plans for a seven-inch tablet.

During its recent earnings call, Apple CEO Steve Jobs got on the line and took a number of pot-shots at the competition. He called out Google and RIM for some of their products and behaviors.

At one point, Jobs specifically called out the worthlessness of seven-inch tablet computers. RIM is currently developing a seven-inch tablet.

Jim Balsillie issued the following statement in response to Jobs, "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." Apple's iPad doesn't support Flash, though RIM's Playbook will.

Jobs also took pains to call out Google on its level of openness. It said Google's version of open has led to fragmentation. RIM, again, disagrees. Said Balsillie, "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."

Within Apple's recently quarter earnings report the company specified that the 14.1 million iPhones it sold during its fiscal fourth quarter is more than RIM sold in its most recent quarter.

Balsillie had this to say, "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."

Balsillie took a last, parting shot to drive the point home wherein he calls out Apple's "distortion field" yet again.

"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," said Balsillie.

When CEOs take shots at one another, we all win. Thanks for the commentary, Jobs and Balsillie!

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