Smartphone subterfuge - Macleans.ca

Smartphone subterfuge

Tech watchers are wondering whether Canada’s Research in Motion is on its way to becoming an industry “dinosaur.”

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Smartphone subterfuge

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Faced with an eroding market share and middling reviews for its latest BlackBerry devices, some tech watchers are wondering whether Canada’s Research in Motion is on its way to becoming an industry “dinosaur.” But RIM still has a lot to offer, and nobody knows this better than archrival Apple. The Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of iPods, iPhones and iPads has, according to Dow Jones, hired away five high-level RIM employees over the past year and a half—all of whom worked in RIM’s enterprise unit, which caters to corporate clients, RIM’s bread and butter. Apple has had a tough time getting a foothold with the pinstriped crowd, although that may be starting to change now that Bank of America and Citigroup are reportedly allowing staff to use iPhones at work.

But don’t feel too bad for RIM. Last year, it hired Don Lindsay, formerly of Apple and Microsoft, to be its new vice-president of user experience, and it’s probably not a coincidence that RIM’s latest operating system is much smoother and more intuitive as a result. And, speaking of dinosaurs, RIM also managed to lure rock band U2 away from Apple’s marketing department in 2009—a score, especially if it’s middle-aged lawyers and investment bankers you’re trying to appeal to.