Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.


rim jim balsillieTech executives seem eager to pile on the criticism of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, elaborated on his past statements denouncing Apple’s approach.

Summing up RIM’s position versus Apple, Balsillie said RIM believes “you don’t need an app for the Web in mobile.”

In other words, Balsillie doesn’t agree with Apple’s emphasis of its App Store over mobile websites or with Apple’s requirement that app developers use its proprietary tools to turn Web content into iPhone and iPad apps. (Jobs might disagree with that characterization — he has said that the mobile experience is mostly about apps, but he also likes to praise the HTML5 Web format.)

“We completely disagree with that worldview,” Balsillie said.

In contrast, Balsillie pointed to RIM’s WebWorks product, which allows publishers to convert websites into mobile apps without any extra coding.

The usual defense of Apple is that it has created a better experience than any of its mobile competitors. In that vein, interviewer John Battelle asked if Balsillie thinks apps that aren’t developed specifically for a BlackBerry device can match the experience of native apps on the iPhone and iPad. Balsillie replied that RIM has already struck back on the experience argument, releasing a video comparing the Web experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook with the experience on an iPad. The video shows the PlayBook is faster.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.