Editorial: RIM's Future Part II: Apple-BlackBerry Pie
Yesterday, Part I discussed the idea of RIM being forced to merge with Google and become another manufacturer of Android powered phones. Today we'll look at the other major side of the coin: a merger with Apple.
Apart from being named after fruits, BlackBerry and Apple have other things in common. Both have been integral to the development and enhancement of what we know today as a smartphone. At times, both have taken the lead in the smartphone race and both are backed up by a strong faithful fan base that wants them to, not only get better, but bury the other one in the process. Both companies take pride in the fact that they, and only they, make both the hardware and OS for their phones. It's been noted that both companies have an airtight approval process for new phones and upgrades to their OS. Something Android might want to pay some attention to.
The similarities pretty much end there as each company has taken a different route to get to the top. BlackBerry's bread and butter have been durable keyboard based phones, while Apple's iPhone has always been all an touchscreen phone (yeah it does have ONE button on the bottom). RIM was and has been the leader and innovator when it's come down to email, security and a business oriented phone with its line of BlackBerry devices. Apple took the business and security concept less seriously and introduced the gaming and fun aspect to the smartphone market by linking it to its world famous iTunes concept and make it seem like a world needed an app for every little thing.
In 2011, it seems that both companies are satisfied with what they've accomplished in their own ideals and wish to infiltrate in the other's success. BlackBerry is attempting to be considered cooler and more fun. While Apple is trying to establish their iPhone as a capable business phone.
With two companies having this many similarities and still having this many serious differences in approach and technique, would a merger be possible? I really don't think so.
When an app comes out to make pigs fly
Although there might already be an app that does that, the idea I'm trying to convey is that there's most likely a ZERO percent chance this ever happens. True, weirder things have happened in the world of business but don't hold your breath. Out of all the possible scenarios of mergers and change, this one is the least likely because of a couple of factors.
Apple and BlackBerry's business approaches on the past, present and future are about as a different as, well, Apples and Blackberries. Unfortunately for us BlackBerry lovers it seems the company's CEO's have been too comfortable with past success and expect to still cash in on it without necessarily making innovative changes to move forward. From a BlackBerry users perspective, it seems like we're always playing catch up with competitors. Apple on the other hand always seems like they could careless about the past and want to not only move passed everyone but leave them in the dust.
Apple would gain little to nothing from acquiring RIM
Apple makes its iPhones and the iOS that powers it. Since day one, Apple has always said they don't think consumers need keyboard in their phones. That's not their target audience so needing BlackBerry for the hardware aspect we touched on with Android based phones doesn't exist with Apple.
It's pretty pointless to even compare Operating Systems as I'm pretty sure Apple's not drooling over having control of App World or any of the other BlackBerry services. Apple might not even want BBM seeing as how they have introduced their own instant messaging app iMessage.
One thing that Apple might want to take is RIM's background and history of solid business dependability. That also goes hand and hand with BlackBerry's security which would take iOS over the top.
If it happened, what this would mean for us BlackBerry users
Unlike with an Android powered BlackBerry, if Apple bought out RIM, it would most likely mark the end of the BlackBerry brand name as a whole. With no need for hardware or software, BlackBerry would go down in history as the great company it once was. This is why I believe no matter how bad the situation gets for RIM, it would never allow an Apple merge or buyout to occur. I firmly believe they would never let the BlackBerry name just disappear and bow silently out of the smartphone race. It's a name that still has so much power, so much history and potential.
So for now ladies and gentleman rest easy. No, iBerry coming any time soon or ever for that matter. We can keep hating Apple and Steve Jobs for a long long time.
Part III will be out on Monday. Stay tuned.