How BlackBerry Lost Bieber Fever to Apple's iPhone
A fascinating exposť on the rise and fall of BlackBerry in BusinessWeek today illustrates how the iPhone, and not BlackBerry, ultimately won the heart of Justin Bieber.
Why does this matter? To BlackBerry it matters a great deal, mostly because of the missed opportunity the company now reflects upon.
As it turns out, some time ago, Justin Bieber wanted to be BlackBerry's "brand ambassador," says Vincent Washington, a senior business development manager at BlackBerry (from 2001 through 2011).
Before blowing up as one of today's biggest celebrity superstars, Justin Bieber wanted $200,000 to be a BlackBerry poster boy. But the company - then known as RIM - declined.
"One thing we missed out on," Washington admitted in the new BusinessWeek report, "was that Justin Bieber wanted to rep BlackBerry. He said, 'Give me $200,000 and 20 devices, and I'm your brand ambassador,' basically. And we pitched that to marketing: Here's a Canadian kid, he grew up here, all the teeny-boppers will love that. They basically threw us out of the room. They said, 'This kid is a fad. He's not going to last.' I said at the meeting: 'This kid might outlive RIM.' Everyone laughed."
Since then, Bieber has gone on to announce to his millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram that he really enjoys his iPhone 5.
And Apple didn't pay him a penny to say that.