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The iPhone is for fun and the BlackBerry is for work.
That has been the common perception for quite a while. The perception is in part due to a simple reality: most customers find that they prefer the design and simple interface of the iPhone over the BlackBerry. Now it seems that another shift is taking place. Apple has targeted the corporate market and BigLaw, and it seems to be working.
According to Nielsen Company, the BlackBerry and iPhone are "caught in a statistical dead heat with 27 percent of smartphone market share in the U.S," The New York Times reports. In light of Apple's massive gains, BlackBerry is poised to spice up its design team with the acquisition of a Swedish company.
The Blackberry, once considered the top smartphone made by Research in Motion, has "never won any praise for the design and feel of its phones." The company has made a major move to take a step forward in their design through the acquisition of interface and design company the Astonishing Tribe, The New York Times reports. Astonishing Tribe has its technology in over 470 million devices worldwide, and has worked with a number of top companies including Fujitsu, Google, Samsung and Motorola.
It was high time for BlackBerry to make such a move. In September, the iPhone surpassed BlackBerry in total quarterly sales: 14.1 million iPhones vs. 12.1 million for RIM, The Los Angeles Times reports.
"Most people now want to use a single device to handle both their personal and professional lives," said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Kaufman Bros. "That's what Apple's really good at -- and now RIM is playing catch-up."
So is the addition of Astonishing Tribe going to make a big difference for RIM? The past decade has shown that Apple is a very difficult company to beat when it comes to popularity and design. RIM is certainly banking that Astonishing Tribe is going to make a big impact. They better. Whether RIM's best days lie ahead or behind hangs in the balance.