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What The Underwhelming iPhone 5 Means for BlackBerry 10

Iphone Evolution

In case you were hiding under a rock today you probably know that Apple announced their “revolutionary” iPhone 5. Apple called the iPhone 5 the biggest announcement since the iPhone but if you ask most people the announcements were very underwhelming. Most of the updates were a given with the device being lighter, thinner, and taller with a bigger high resolution 4” screen. They did finally add LTE with claims that battery life on LTE will be even better than older devices without LTE.

I am not discounting Apple making some impressive technological improvements but nothing truly innovative. For example, they went up from two microphones in the 4S to three microphones in the iPhone 5. They also improved the screen by combining the touch sensors into the glass to better compete with the stunning AMOLED screens currently out there. Apple did raise the resolution to 1136×640 at 326PPI which is not bad though still less than some on the market including RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices with 1280 x 768 resolution and 356PPI.

In short people were expecting more from Apple with the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 being more evolutionary than revolutionary. They focused quite a bit on technological spec improvements which is unusual for Apple since they usually focus on what the technology enables instead of the spec bumps themselves. One of the things conspicuously missing in the announcements was any mention of NFC or any such technology from what I saw.

The iPhone 5 was more of a bunt instead of a home run for Apple. It will most likely still sell like hotcakes but currently the device just incrementally raises the bar when it comes to competition for BlackBerry 10 when RIM launches it early next year. The main new improvement Apple added was LTE to the iPhone which was more or less a given for any upcoming smartphone line. What do you think?

img credit: IntoMobile

38 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. One could say it was, “Less an evolutionary leap, more like a triple axel.”

  2. Please RIM, do it RIGHT this time! This is Apple’s big miss, even though it will probably set a sales record, but the companies that will probably match and raise the bar will be Microsoft and RIM, specially RIM with BlackBerry 10 platform.

    • Technically this is their 2nd big miss… The difference is their loyal fanbase will buy it regardless, so it doesn’t matter.

      They might as well repackage the same phone in a new box, 90% of the customers wouldn’t know the difference.

  3. Putting RIM/Blackberry aside, I noted with the 4S and iPad 2/3 releases that Apple was playing a dangerous game. With primarily Android pushing the envelope and WP8/BB10 fast approaching, Apple was playing it safe and relying on its “distortion field” to keep the GIGANTICNORMOUS sales to continue.

    The iPhone 5 continues in this trend. 4 straight underwhelming releases in my opinion, with this iPhone 5 announcement being the MOST underwhelming.

    With the recent gains of Android, it can already be seen that the iPhone 4S didn’t squash the competition. Then why did they do what they did with the iPhone 5? Clearly the bad press will reach the consumers. I have to believe this will only embolden Android’s attach on iPhone.

    Apple can still take it all back next year with an iPhone 6/5S that is truly innovative, but, what if they don’t?

    In my opinion, Apple has put themselves in a horrible position. With the expansion of Android and the introduction of BB10 and WP8, they almost HAVE to do something crazy with the iPhone 6 don’t they?

    Based on pure circumstantial/anecdotal evidence, the luster of Apple is going away. It is becoming, dare I say, boring.

    Apple plays a dangerous game.

    Now on to BB10.

    The iPhone 5 announcement plays perfectly into RIM’s hands. WP8 isn’t coming out till late 2012 and personally I don’t think will affect BB10 sales. Android has released all their new big name devices until at least the what… April/May 2013?

    The iPhone 5 will sell a shit load for sure. But. By January 2013, the overall “awe” and “newness” will have gone away. Thus creating a massive void for 4-5 months where #BB10 will be the newest and possible the most innovative mobile product on the market.


    If BB10 does the following, I am now more confident than ever Blackberry will be the most epic comeback story ever.

    1. Release the L series by the 3rd week of January at the lates
    3. Have almost all the big name apps. I don’t think they need ALL the big name apps, but, the need some of the remaining big name apps not in their catalogue

    Those 3 points are still not guarantees at this point. BB Jam Americas are only 1.5 weeks away and will likely give shed more light on whether these 3 points are viable.

    In summary.

    F*ck Apple

    • whoa that was a rant sorry!

    • I should add a 4th criteria and that would be AWESOME MARKETING

      That will be the job of the new CMO

      Market the pants off BB10

    • “WP8 isn’t coming out till late 2012 and personally I don’t think will affect BB10 sales.”
      I don’t agree. I see a lot of interest for Windows Phone. It’s always almost the 3rd ecosystem targeted by apps developers and WP8 seems very promising.
      I also hope the email client on BB10 will use BIS in an intelligent way when connecting to Exchange compatible servers and not get in the way like it is right now, because some people not wanting to use BES may find WP8 a better match for their needs.

      “Android has released all their new big name devices until at least the what… April/May 2013?”
      Not yet, although Sony and Motorola have just updated their line-ups, LG still has to release its high-end phone which looks very promising, if they manage to give it a good battery life.
      The next Nexus won’t be amazing though.

      And yes, BB10 will only succeed if startups start adding “BB10 version available from Appworld” on their downloads page…

      • Oh Ofutur.

        You see a lot of interest in WP8???? I am not saying you aren’t, but, you are in a huge massive gigantic minority of people who seem to be seeing real life non tech people interested in WP8.

        Sony/Motorola/LG Android phones I am not worried.

        Samsung and Nexus devices is who I am worrying about.

        You can worry about the others if you want, I just don’t see them being being players in the Android world in the face of Nexus and Samsung

        • I don’t know many people with WP phones, but I do see their logo on the download page of new products a lot more often than I see the BlackBerry logo…
          Makes me wonder what kind of incentive programme Microsoft has going, because it seems to work.

          Well that’s the nice thing about Android. There is a phone for everybody and niche markets are sometimes addressed by smaller manufacturers. Let’s not forget that HTC was once at the top…
          I don’t see mainstream users adopting BB10 right away, but hopefully early adopters will spread the love and keep the ball rolling for RIM .

          • Logo on download page doesn’t mean there is consumer interest. Take Skype and Kindle apps on the Touchpad.

            • But consumers are more likely to take interest if they see that most developers seem to release apps for their platforms. I was just surprised to see this since WP has so little market share.

              It’s probably too early to say anything about BB10 anyway since it wouldn’t make sense to have a logo right now and since devs are not interested in developing for the old platform.
              Let’s see what happens in December.

              • There is some truth to what you are saying but you are looking in the wrong place. RIM can’t compete with MS on marketing and getting the logo out there they need to start with their base business users and heavy communicators and give those people a must have reason to stick with BB.

                WP will easily outsell BB. Heck they will easily outsell Apple they are going for Android Apple is small time for WP8.

                A huge goal for RIM. Would be 10% of the massively growing smartphone market.

    • How about a QWERTY iPhone? That would be something. Hehe

    • Whoa! BBA Brian is pumped! Yes, I will have to agree that Apple has left the door wide open for RIM and BB10. In fact, while Apple will sell 35 million in the next quarter, sales will quickly flatten out to 20 million after Christmas.

      If RIM plays their cards right, they’ll be back in the game and roaring to go into the next 10 years with a spiffy new OS that is heads above both iOS and Android plus some snazzy new hardware to go with it :) I can’t wait to get one in my hands now! But I’ll wait for them to polish it off. Oh, more waiting… but it will be worth it!

    • You forgot about Nexus.

  4. RIM has to do it big now – use NFC use the best chip make that cam as best you can front and back. have all the bells and whistles. And last but not least make sure you market the hell out of the products. shit ill stay in brampton at the stores and help if needed just market the hell out of it. And make sure everyone know about every single feature that know one eles has and make a big deal of it.

  5. This announcement was much like a RIM new product announcement circa 2010 😉

  6. BBA, I am glad you got all of that off your chest, further I enjoyed reading it.

    I think you are correct, Apple has put itself into a position where if a shiny new coin comes along, it will be a bit tarnished. Like when you think your car is still looking great, then you park it next to a new one at the dealer. Not so hot now.

    I think it needs things more than apps. Like the dial back camera, the little alarm trick, the all stuff in one place, multiple open windows, personal and company one phone, etc. People will see those things and start to think about how they are frustrated by something on the current model. Apps are important, but sales will bring (anticipation is bringing) developers. They will go where they can make money, and to get recognized in 700K apps is hard. The public thinks if they have an app on Appl the developer is rich, the developer, knows better, most (vast majority) make squat. Personally I think they will want to make more than squat.

    My wife has been with either ATT or Verizon, in management, for more than 20 years. Here’s a bit of info, they are fed up with Apple and heavy subsidy, they also do not want to be trapped.

    There, bit windy, me self.


  7. @Nick Shadow: what you say about subsidies is true, however, they are still doing it with i5. 199 for the 16GB. So we know what RIM has to launch at. Only problem is they likely wont subsidize RIM meaning RIM will have to eat the cost and sell it cheaper to the carriers. This does not bode well for RIM financial. I don’t think Apple did this blindly, they are aware of Nokia and RIM’s financial situation so this is war.
    They can handle one completion, Samsung+Android but want to kill the rest. This is war and while RIM might be happy from a technical perspective i don’t think they are happy at all with the price.

  8. I think the iPhone 5 is just a 2012 hardware refresh to give people something to upgrade to, particularly the iPhone 3GS and 4 users.
    The biggest threat will be coming from iOS which keeps getting refined. At one stage, it will be usable in the enterprise.

  9. I am officially frigging depressed. I was over on Yahoo listening to a very dumb blond on video, (not that there is anything wrong with that) but, it was a review of the Iphone 5. I use the word review loosely, it was a full flown commercial for Apple, if she had gushed any harder, something would have blown, but I digress.

    I then waded through at least 300 comments before I couldn’t stand it any more and couple of patterns were revealed:

    1. Lots of people who are Apple customers are underwhelmed, and went on the spank the “Journalist” on about every level. I was surprised; probably more negativity than I have seen before.

    2. Of the 300+ (my guess) posts and replies I went through BB was mentioned, get ready for this,,,,,,,,EXACTLY ONCE.

    That my friends is a problem.


    • Don’t fret my friend.

      The reality is, 99% of the people out there should not be even remotely thinking about Blackberry.


      They have probably never heard of BB10 and if they have, it was only casually mentioned and they know basically nothing about it.

      This applies most dominantly to the USA and to lesser extents in other countries.

      If you conducted a poll on the street in most markets, and asked how excited or interested in BB10 people are.

      If there was an option to select an answer like “what is BB10?”

      I venture to guess a majority would select that.

      This is why RIM hired a new CMO

      This is what the CMO has been planning for

      The BB10 Ad campaign has to be EPIC to overcome this

    • WSJ had a report that Apple stock rallied today after the announcement!!! It was up 1%. Nice rally :(

      Stock should have dropped $100/share imo. 1 year to develop an extra row of icons? 28 MegaPixel panoramic photo. I can’t wait to receive those in my inbox.

      Apple is screwed. They had an inefficient design from the start and now that they have to deal with power hungry LTE, they can’t add much else to the hardware. Let the battery complaints begin.

      BB10 gonna be great!!

  10. What RIM really needs with BB10 is to figure out how to achieve 100% Android compatibility (latest version too). That will solve their app problem once and for all. I tried a couple of dozen fairly basic Android apps on my PlayBook this week and the vast majority of them failed to run at all or crashed while running. And none of them were for specifically Honeycomb or Jellybean. Most said Android 2.1 was required, a few were only 1.6 and still most didn’t work.

    That is very disappointing! RIM should be laser focused on incorporatingn every single Android API and honing that to perfect compatability.

    Then theirnworries will be over. Till then, it’s still a huge crappie shoot.

    • PS the typos were thanks to the PlayBook. Fix/improve that too please RIM 😉

    • Okay, are you sideloading Android apps? I have 2 PlayBooks, one’s running OS 2.0 and the other 2.1 beta. Some Android apps don’t run on 2.1 beta yet (and that is expected), but all my Android apps run well under 2.0.

      Personally, I don’t see full Android support being a huge goal for RIM. They don’t want to be sued either by Google.

  11. All the latest and greatest hardware and software improvements won’t help BB10 sell if people don’t hear about it. RIM needs to market the hell out of its new stuff like it has never done before.

  12. Apple has never changed its game plan, its always been the same for the past 5 generation, one long screen, no keyboard and they started adding things like picture messaging and 3G…etc.
    People will buy iPhones again and again, this is all about who has money and how they want to spend it…innovation is one thing, marketing is another.

  13. Not sure i understand why apple’s announcement today is underwelming….iP5 blows away any current BB7 phone and will be hugely beneficial to Apple’s bottom line. Every news paper on the planets has that new phone on the front page of their website.

    Now in the context of the bloodbath forecasted for Sept 27 in Waterloo, THAT is underwhelming. Expected, but underwhelming.

  14. It seems that Apple is making the samew mistake that RIMM made: resting on their laurels. The relatively minor improvements of the Iphone 5 and no NFC, coupled with the changing of the number of charging pins – meaning customers will have to buy new accesories, would indicate that. Apple is shooting itself in the foot. I agree with the other comments that marketing for BB10 will be critical to its success.

  15. What people don’t get is that at the end of the day Apple is simply a profit maximizing company. It makes the most money by bringing out incremental products and thats exactly what it is going to do. To continue to wow people is just not going to bring in the highest profit.

    People Also.say is there room for a fourth ecosystem? This is a stupid question. The real question is can RIM make is easy enough for developers to repackage apps for BB10 so that putting out an App is a nobrainer. Finally can RIM get partnerships to get the desirable content on it devices?

    The market is big enough for a small company like RIM if the make their product compelling. RIM. Will not be Apple and they will not be Microsoft anytime soon. Do we care? No. We want the best phones not the biggest company.

    Mike and Jim had the crazy idea that RIM could go toe to toe with Apple even with the crappy old OS and poor developer relations they had. Really dumb.
    Under Thor we are seeing the right strategy. Build a Rock Solid OS. Add a compelling UI.. Make It easy as possible to get apps on there and finally I hope hope hope have a very compelling business feature or two (like a hot swap battery).

    Apple and Microsoft ( with the late launch) and Google (with the open nature of Android ) all have given RIM the opening it needs. It’s now up to RIM to deliver.

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