When phones became computers

A really important bit of history recounted in Losing the Signal, pg 139-140, a really excellent book about the history of Research In Motion:

In the summer of 2007, however, Lazaridis cracked open a phone that gave him pause. “They’ve put a Mac in this thing,” he marveled after peering inside one of the new iPhones. Ever since Apple’s phone went on sale in June, critics and consumers were effusive about the sleek phone’s playful touch screen, elegant graphics, and high-resolution images. Lazaridis saw much more. This was no ordinary smartphone. It was a small mobile Apple computer whose operating system used 700 megabytes of memory—more than twenty-two times the computing power of the BlackBerry. The iPhone had a full Safari browser that traveled everywhere on the Internet. With AT& T’s backing, he could see, Apple was changing the direction of the industry. Lazaridis shared the revelation with his handset engineers, who had been pushing to expand BlackBerry’s Internet reach for years. Before, Lazaridis had waved them off. Carriers wouldn’t allow RIM to include more than a simple browser because it would crash their networks. After his iPhone autopsy, however, he realized the smartphone race was in danger of shifting. If consumers and carriers continued to embrace the iPhone, BlackBerry would need more than its efficient e-mail and battery to lead the market. “If this thing catches on, we’re competing with a Mac, not a Nokia,” he said. The new battleground was mobile computing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.