AT&T Wanted RIM to Create an iPhone Competitor

AT&T Wanted RIM to Create an iPhone Competitor

Back in 2010, while AT&T was the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the U.S., it asked Research in Motion to develop a touchscreen smartphone to compete with the iPhone.


AT&T wasn’t alone in worrying that the popularity of the iPhone could give Apple too much power, according to The Wall Street Journal. While AT&T and RIM collaborated to make the BlackBerry Torch, Verizon and Vodafone also worked with RIM on the first BlackBerry touchscreen device, the Storm.

The Journal’s report lists RIM’s many mistakes over the years in anticipation of the company’s earnings report, which is to be released later Thursday. RIM is expected to report a quarterly loss.

Reported issues at RIM include what former execs call a “split personality in the executive suite” between former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie.

Lazaridis is said to have wanted to focus on a next-gen BlackBerry with a new operating system, while Balsillie wanted to license out some of RIM’s proprietary technologies. Balsillie’s were plans to use RIM’s network to offer inexpensive data plans and services to non-BlackBerry devices.

When RIM’s co-founders stepped down as charimen and CEOs of the company in January, they were replaced by Thorsten Heins. The company’s fortunes have continued to flounder, as earlier this month RIM stock fell to single digits for the first time in eight years.