Asked what he would say to Jobs if he were present today at the Web 2.0 Summit, Balsillie shot back: “You finally showed up.” The implication being that RIM practically invented the smartphone category and is not going anywhere.
Balsillie went on to contrast the Blackberry approach to Apple’s when it comes to web apps. There may be 300,000 apps for the iPhone and iPad, but the only app you really need is the browser. “You don’t need an app for the Web,” he says, and that is equally true for the mobile Web. The debate over mobile apps versus the mobile Web. Blackberry is betting on the Web, much like Google .
Oh no, he didn’t.
Jim Balsillie is the RIM head honcho and was willing to chat about the new BlackBerry iPad competitor, the Playbook. The surprising part about the Playbook is the OS. It’s essentially running on Adobe Air. It doesn’t just allow Adobe’s tools, it flat out embraces them. Balsillie is going to great lengths to let people know that the web is the way to go for their tablet.
The problem with that is Steve Jobs said the same thing when the iPhone was first introduced in 2007. He had previously said that the Maps app trumped any web app that Google had to offer, but when the developer conference came around, he crushed everyone’s dreams. The thousands of developers in attendance were disheartened to hear that Job’s original vision for the iPhone was web apps. (This was a full year before the App Store) We all know what happened next. Developers Jailbroke their phones so that they could learn the internal code themselves to develop their own apps, without Apple’s help.
Will the same thing happen to RIM’s PlayBook? Mobile web apps sure are nice, but when compared to native mobile apps, they look plain silly.
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