3 Secrets How iPhone Killed Blackberry, Without Blackberry Realizing It From Day 1 

On the day of January 2007, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Basille took a sip of their coffee. On the same day too, Steve Jobs was actually revealing the first iPhone to the world. Without both of the guys knew it, iPhone killed Blackberry on the very same day. Both of them, Lazaridis and Basille are the co-founders of Blackberry at that time.

During that time, Blackberry always boast about their unique features and enhanced build-in systems. 3 things that Blackberry has, which not replicable in other current smart phones is its security, efficiency and functionality.

Meanwhile, the nearest competitor, iPhone had none of these. With its slick design, new strange touch screen and solid square shape, iPhone only emphasized on its beauty. Typical Steve Jobs style, he always focused on the choice of colors, at least the smartphone is working during the demo session and shining bright when people touch its screen. Even, iPhone being produced with the battery only can stand maximum 8 hours of usage. Unlike Blackberry, which having among the best battery capacity of 13 hours of talk-time and 17.5 hours of video playback. iPhone can’t be proud on anything, with its slowness and sometimes crashing the wireless networks. 

Steve Jobs also had stopped at one reporter whose complaining that iPhone keeps making typo error when he tried to type with his thumbs. Jobs replied, “Your thumbs will learn,” while smiling. 

However, moving forward, as the social media hype and e-commerce shopping become the next best thing, Steve Jobs successfully created an iPhone cult among the customers and critiques, online and offline. From the cult emergence, Apple had sold almost 1 million iPhone just during the summer 2007 alone. 

How did iPhone managed to grow fast and eventually killed Blackberry? There are 3 main factors that Steve Jobs applied with his team, on developing the iPhone, starting from the earliest version.

1. Infrastructure Problem is a No Problem

When the iPhone launched in the year 2007, Apple had teamed up with the AT&T. During that time, BlackBerry couldn’t stream videos or surf the internet because it was slow and expensive. In order to have a much faster network, some development need to be done within the carriers like AT&T and Verizon. However, those carriers companies disagree for any new development.

But, Steve Jobs managed to cut the deal with AT&T. He proceed with his plan anyways. His action forcing AT&T to agree. Without settling with any other carriers, Jobs believes, “there was a point where AT&T by changing the rules, forced all other carriers to change too. 

In Jobs’ decision making, he managed to change and challenge the status quo. Apple reset expectations, not in terms of its own product development, but the whole telecommunication infrastructure business nature.

“Conservation didn’t matter. Battery life didn’t matter. Cost didn’t matter. That’s their genius.” – admits Mike Lazaridis, BlackBerry for iPhone ‘guerilla’ style of doing business.

2. Functional or Viral Beauty?

A BlackBerry was secure, efficient, and functional. But will you tell everyone you know about secure and functional? Nobody would ever care how fast your phone, or how secured is the locking system on your phone. Those are boring and unseeable.

People always focus on what they can see, feel and taste. Only a few would pay attention the system speed, the processor, the memory size or even the IEEE network security.

iPhone looked the other way around, where people always gather on. It really grabbed that niche and made a beautiful and magical design ever created in 2007. No more black, silver, professional (or old-looking), work office formal type of gadget.

iPhone being build to be looked like the aliens of 2100 came back from the future. With pink, red, gold and white in color. Breaking the typical design colors and stands out.

An iPhone made you feel like you were part of a club no one else knew about. And when you join the cool club, you want to tell everyone you know. From the uniqueness, people talk about it and it became viralled.

iPhone successfully put up the viral concept on the map of technology business during that time. Virality is the beauty’s cousin. They are related but aren’t quite the same.

3. Crappy Counterpunch

With the popular topic of iPhone been discussed among the tech geeks, smartphones enthusiasts and even fashion critiques, now Blackberry has started to panic.

Blackberry had teamed up with Verizon and launched an iPhone competitor called Storm. The original timeline to launch the new phone was 9 months. However, it keeps dragging until 15 months, before they finally shipped it.

Unfortunately, Storm was sucks. It was slow. The system was glitchy. Overall it was a doom for Blackberry and Verizon demanded $500 million from Blackberry to cover their losses. 

The competitiveness of Blackberry to win over iPhone marked the beginning of the end for BlackBerry.


From the 3 factors above, Apple surprises BlackBerry by doing the opposite of what Blackberry usually done or has expected its competitor would do. By far, iPhone did the unexpected one.

While BlackBerry introduced a fully featured functional smartphone, iPhone only highlights the beauty of its phones. While Blackberry always highlights its efficiency in its system, network and interface, iPhone far from it at the beginning. It doesn’t have anything more, other than extra at the AT&T stable network (thanks to the deal which Steve Jobs managed to shake with AT&T).

While Blackberry developed one of the most battery-saving gadget, iPhone wastes it.

But, somehow the one that interrupts the status quo apparently winning and it doesn’t necessarily contribute to harm. Not with iPhone, it definitely changed how the world sees technology and beyond.

Credit : This story was originally shared by Chris Hladczuk in his tweet.