RIM CEO tells Apple: ‘You don’t need an app for the web’
Jim Balsillie, chief executive of RIM, makers of the BlackBerry, has launched a veiled attack on Apple at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco.
Balsillie told delegates at the event that Research in Motion’s forthcoming tablet computer, the PlayBook, will be “three or four times” faster at browsing the web than Apple’s iPad.
He also criticised Apple’s ecosystem of applications for its iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and said that users “don’t need an app for the web”.
Balsillie acknowledged that there was a role for native apps, but that the web browser remained the best way of getting information on mobile devices.
"We believe that you can bring the mobile to the web,” he said. “You don’t need to go through some kind of software development kit. That’s the core part of our message. You can use your existing development environment.
“There’s still a role for apps, but can you use your existing content? Can you use your existing web assets? Do you need a set of proprietary tools to bring existing assets on to a device, or can you use known tools that you use for creating websites?”
It’s the latest exchange in an increasingly fractious relationship between Apple and Research in Motion.
During a quarterly earnings call earlier this year, Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, bragged that iPhone sales had outstripped BlackBerry sales, and that he didn’t see Research in Motion catching up with his company “in the foreseeable future”.
His comments sparked a furious response from RIM, who questioned the sales iPhone and BlackBerry sales figures Jobs had used for his comparison.
Balsillie retaliated by claiming that Apple only told “half the story”, and that everything was skewed by the company’s “reality distortion field”.