The Infrastructure Problem When the iPhone launches, Apple teams up with AT&T. And cuts a special deal – Chris Hladczuk
Steve Jobs killed BlackBerry. By creating a cult and inventing new rules Here’s the breakdown and why it matters👇
Mike and Jim don’t know yet… But the BlackBerry is doomed. Apple’s “Jesus Phone” would soon take over the world.
Mike and Jim are the co-CEOs of BlackBerry at the time. And they initially aren’t worried about the iPhone. Here’s why👇
Instead, the iPhone was beautiful. Jobs didn’t care that the battery drained in 8 hours. He didn’t care that it was slow. Or that it crashed the wireless networks.
And people may have hated it. Early on Jobs even shows a reporter the iPhone’s touch-screen keyboard. Reporter: “It doesn’t work” Jobs stops. The reporter kept making typos and said the keys were too small for his thumbs. Jobs smiles and replies: “Your thumbs will learn”
But instead a cult is born. And Apple sells 1 million phones during the summer of 2007. Here are 3 reasons why the iPhone takes off while the BlackBerry fails👇
1) The Infrastructure Problem When the iPhone launches, Apple teams up with AT&T. And cuts a special deal. At the time, BlackBerry couldn’t stream videos or surf the internet because it was slow and expensive. And carriers like AT&T and Verizon wouldn’t allow it.
But Jobs does it anyway: “There was a point where AT&T by changing the rules, forced all other carriers to change too. Apple reset expectations. Conservation didn’t matter. Battery life didn’t matter. Cost didn’t matter. That’s their genius.” – Mike Lazaridis, BlackBerry
2) Functional vs. Viral Beauty A BlackBerry was secure, efficient, and functional. But will you tell everyone you know about secure and functional? Nope. No one brags about boring.
Instead, the iPhone was beautiful and magical. It looked like the aliens of 2100 came back from the future. 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.
Virality is beauty’s cousin. They are related but aren’t quite the same.
The original timeline to launch is 9 months. at 15 months, they finally ship it. And the product sucks.
It is slow. It is glitchy. And Verizon demands $500 million to cover their losses. This marks the beginning of the end for BlackBerry.
The Takeaway: Apple surprises BlackBerry with the iPhone by doing the opposite. A BlackBerry is functional → an iPhone is beautiful A BlackBerry is efficient → an iPhone is extra A BlackBerry saves battery → an iPhone wastes it
So what can we learn? The opposite of a successful product isn’t failure. It may just change the world.