Apple’s iPhone is the first “BlackBerry Killer” that I really think could give Research in Motion all that they could handle. Before you think that I have gone completely nuts, let me explain myself.
I was just watching Squawk Box this morning and the had a piece on the long time rumored iPhone from Apple. It looks like this thing just might see the light of day first or second quarter next year. When the iPhone does come out I think that it will give the BlackBerry competition unlike anything it has ever seen before. On the consumer side of things that is.
The BlackBerry Pearl has done better than even what the most die-hard BlackBerry supporters could have ever imagined and the next wave of consumer oriented BlackBerrys will sell like crazy as well. The BlackBerry brand is one of the strongest here in the United States, however, if you think that it comes anywhere close to where Apple’s iPod sits, I’m not the only one going nuts.
When Apple releases the iPhone it will compete directly against the Pearl as far as consumers, especially first time smartphone buying consumers are concerned. The Pearl appeals to consumers looking to buy their first smart phone. The iPhone will appeal to everyone who owns an iPod looking to upgrade to the latest greatest version along with consumers looking for their first smartphone.
I hate to say it, however, if you are walking through the mobile phone section of Best Buy and see an iPhone next to the BlackBerry Pearl, unless you were just interested in the BlackBerry, the iPhone would probably pull your eye more simply because it would be perceived as an upgrade to your existing iPod as compared to a completely new type of mobile phone.
When Apple comes out with the iPhone Research in Motion will definately notice in their consumer BlackBerry sales and probably not so much in their corporate BlackBerry sales. The issue for RIM, however, is that they’ve already won the corporate smartphone/PDA war but the battle for consumer users is just beginning.