BlackBerry Boss Hits Out at Apple's Steve Jobs

By Gurmukh Singh

Toronto, Oct 21 (IANS) Hitting back at Apple boss Steve Jobs who Monday claimed that "we have now passed RIM (Research In Motion)'' in smartphone sales, BlackBerry maker co-CEO Jim Balsillie says his rival is trying to create a "distortion field'' to manipulate customers.

In the battle of two titans which began with Jobs firing the first salvo on a 70-percent jump in Apple's quarterly profits Monday, Balsillie said, " We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple.''

In his taunt, Jobs had said that with 14.1 million iPhone sales, Apple has "handily'' beaten RIM which sold only 12.1 million BlackBerry smartphones during the period. "I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable feature. We are out to win this one,'' Jobs said.

But in his statement e-mailed to IANS Wednesday, the BlackBerry boss denied Jobs' claim, saying, "RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 - 14.4 million BlackBerry smart phones for the current quarter.

He said, "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 (quarter four) results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders.''

The RIM co-CEO said, "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."

About Jobs' dismissal of RIM's seven-inch PlayBook tablet as too small, the BlackBerry co-CEO said, "For those of us who live outside of Apple's distortion field, we know that 7-inch 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.''

RIM is slated to launch PlayBook later in the year.


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