The era of the BlackBerry's dominance in the corporate communicator market may be drawing to a close, and Apple is recruiting staff to speed that process along. Over the past year and a half, Apple has hired at least five senior enterprise sales reps from Research in Motion (RIM), the Canadian manufacturer of the BlackBerry.
In April 2009, Geoff Perfect joined Apple from RIM as Head of Enterprise iPhone Sales, and he has since been joined by four colleagues with contacts in the business. It's unknown how much of the increasing corporate adoption of iOS devices is due to the efforts of this crew and how much would have occurred organically as a result of employees bringing in their own iPhones. Either way, there has certainly been no love lost between Apple and RIM in recent months.
Apple has recently claimed that the iPhone is outselling the BlackBerry and that smaller seven-inch tablets are a bad idea. In response, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has accused Apple of playing fast and loose with the numbers and spreading disinformation about devices like its upcoming PlayBook tablet. Ultimately, RIM's biggest problem is unlikely to be either staff poaching or executive sniping. Instead, it is the lack of any real innovation or even keeping pace with its products. Hiring Perfect and his colleagues is probably just a bonus for Apple.