War of Words: RIM CEO Jim Balsillie aggressively counterattacks Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ initial blow

RIM CEOCan you feel the heat?

During a conference call with investors earlier this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticized Research in Motion’s corporate strategy, among other things (such as the iPhone eclipsing Blackberries in sales and market share).

But RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has never taken Steve’s crap. Jim lashed back the very next day, raising the concept of Apple’s “distortion field,” where the company tells its customers how to behave.

We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple.

– RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie

During Steve’s tirade on RIM, he called all 7-inch tablets DOA—yes, Dead On Arrival. This includes RIM’s forthcoming PlayBook, a 7-inch enterprise-savvy tablet. Jim took on this blow too: “For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we now that [7-inch] tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience,” Jim countered.

Jim didn’t stop there, going on to say that “while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of websites that use Flash.”

Jim continued on to counter Steve’s claims that the iPhone is outselling Blackberries, saying that the Apple CEO was citing inaccurately comparable statistics.

“As usual,” the RIM CEO said, “whether the subject is antennas, Flash, or shipments, there is more to the story. And sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.”