If Taiwan’s NMA animation studio is to be believed, RIM’s “CrackBerry” died a brutal death at the hands of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who got a generation of cellphone users hooked on his iPhone before he took out the BlackBerry in a drive-by shooting.
NMA, which has made a name for itself in recent years by creating CGI cartoons of news events, pulls no punches in its 80-second-long summary of RIM’s problems, riffing off the old “CrackBerry” meme that was popular in the first half of the last decade, when the BlackBerry dominated the smartphone world.
The video begins with a business executive “shooting up” his BlackBerry in a bathroom, heroin-style.
But it’s Steve Jobs who takes the biggest satirical hit in this video.
“Things started to change in 2007, when a new drug hit the streets,” the video states. (Apple’s iPhone was released in 2007.) It then shows an animated Steve Jobs enticing cellphone users into an alley to take a hit off an iPhone.
Later in the video, Jobs is seen pumping a BlackBerry full of lead in a drive-by shooting.
Waterloo, Ontario, the site of RIM headquarters, is depicted as a war-torn wasteland that is conquered by an iPhone riding a tank.
The satirical video was released Monday, a few days after RIM announced disastrous first-quarter results that saw the company fall to a $518 million loss, far steeper than analysts had expected.
RIM also announced last week it is delaying its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system, along with the phones expected to run them, to 2013. Some analysts have since suggested that the delay will put RIM so far behind competitors like Apple that the new operating system may never see light of day.
But the BlackBerryOS blog published on Monday what it says is a leaked copy of RIM’s product roadmap. It shows the company planning to release five new smartphone models, mostly throughout 2013, with a new 4G version of its PlayBook tablet coming at the end of this year.
That the company continues to plan for the future even as its market share erodes has encouraged some investors and worried others. In remarks designed to assure markets, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said in a CBC interview Tuesday that there is “nothing wrong” with the company as it exists.
However, that choice of words was negatively received by many observers, who say RIM’s leadership is failing to face up to the company’s problems.