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RIM Doesn't See Apple iPhone As Threat to BlackBerry Pearl

RIM Doesn't See Apple iPhone As Threat to BlackBerry Pearl

by , 2:35 PM EST, February 12th, 2007

The co-CEO of Research in Motion Ltd, Jim Balsillie, said in an interview that the Apple iPhone doesn't pose a threat to the consumer-geared BlackBerry Pearl. Reuters of Canada carried the story on Monday.

The remarks were made as RIM launched its new BlackBerry 8800 aimed at mobile professionals. However, while the BlackBerry is very popular with business professionals, it hasn't caught on with retail customers. That was the motivation behind the consumer oriented BlackBerry Pearl. Looking at Apple's entry: "It's kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers," Jim Balsillie said of Apple. "But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that's overstating it."

While the Pearl received rave reviews when it was introduced in September, and now sells for US$149.99, some analysts have questioned Apple's decision to price the iPhone for US$499 for the low-end model. Cost was cited as the biggest obstacle in getting regular mobile phone users to upgrade to smart phones.

Given the requirement that customers switch to AT&T and pay a considerable sum for the Apple iPhone, analysts are still unsure how Apple will do in the overcrowed smart phone market. Those with healthy expendable income will certainly spring for an iPhone. The ultimate question is how many people who are on the fence financially will make the leap.

For now, RIM isn't worried.

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