Several days ago a financial analyst in Canada floated the idea that Apple and RIM might collaborate to create the merger of an iPod and a Blackberry. Most of the online skepticism about this idea has focused on the incompatibility between the RIM and Apple cultures, particularly their large-ego CEOs, but there's a much more serious reason why it's a dumb idea:
iPods are beloved by young people and creative types who want entertainment on the go. Blackberries are beloved by fast-moving corporate managers who want to squeeze a little more productivity out of their busy day.
Young and mature. Carefree and career-driven. Slacker and buttoned-down. What's the intersection between those two groups?
Right: Virtually nonexistent.
So, how many people would buy the Frankenpodberry?
Every 20-something surfer-dude IT manager on the continent. Plus some technophiles. But not a mass market.
Convergence works only when you combine two features that are both desired by the same demographic group. Making a mobile device ain't like making a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, folks.
Does this mean Apple and RIM would never partner? Not at all, lots of companies do dumb things. But I think the product wouldn't sell.