That’s right, an iBerry, which is what we’re going to call Apple and RIM’s rumored device from here on in. The recent speculation of a converged device from the two mobile heavyweights has sent the BlackBerry Cool office into tech-geek overload, which is why we’re now going to tell you why everyone should want an iBerry.
First, let’s define what the ideal iBerry would be. There’s been quite a bit of speculation as to how the joint venture would play out — some saying it will be a RIM enhanced Apple phone, others pointing to a multimedia BlackBerry that runs iTunes. While both devices sound very intriguing, for our money we’ll take an Apple phone with RIM’s push email (hell, we’d even take a jury-rigged 10 GB iPod with Wifi VoIP and email, but I digress).
Why? For two reasons: Apple is a hardware company and RIM is a software company. RIM really only makes devices as a means to distribute their enterprise software and, the beautiful 7130g aside, they’re much better at designing secure enterprise solutions and lovely push email than they are at making handsets. With their recently professed interest in the consumer market, RIM could do a lot worse than partnering with a company that has come to define “it” consumer electronics.
Apple, on the other hand, seems to have brilliant device design in excess. The fact that they just happen to design solid, user-friendly software should not confuse their position as a ‘hardware-first’ company. Apple’s partnership with Motorola for the much-maligned ROKR failed because neither company had complete control over the final design, and in compromise, the device failed to please consumers and both companies. Apple should be looking for a partner like RIM that would (presumably) give them more control over device design, while still providing assets (like mobile email) that would only further strengthen their hold in the consumer marketplace.
Consider: a sleekly Apple-designed phone with iPod music functionality and push email. If RIM and Apple are able to manage the project properly, it could result in a converged device that takes over the mainstream in a way that the Motorola Q or other BlackBerry competitors never could.