Photo: via Ubergizmo
Apparently one of Apple’s most loyal business partners tried to stab it in the back.Back in 2010, AT&T asked RIM to develop a true competitor to the iPhone, according to an extensive article in The Wall Street Journal looking back at RIM’s missteps over the years. At the time, AT&T was the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, but like other carriers, the company seemed concerned that the iPhone’s increasing popularity would give Apple too much control over the wireless industry.
The result of these efforts was the Blackberry Torch, a touch screen smartphone that didn’t sell nearly well enough to compete with the iPhone.
Here’s the key paragraph from the Journal article spelling out AT&T’s plans:
In 2010, AT&T Inc., then Apple’s exclusive carrier partner, approached RIM about a plan to develop a touch-screen rival to the iPhone, said two former RIM executives. The chief of AT&T’s mobile division visited RIM’s research and development team in Waterloo to stress how important it was for AT&T to have a successful BlackBerry product to sell, according to people familiar with the visit. RIM said the objective of the visit was to develop “a differentiated, unique BlackBerry experience for AT&T customers.”