U2 hooks up with BlackBerry; does iPhone have a crying app?

Mar 12, 2009 By John Boudreau

With or without Apple? Without.

The Irish is moving on with a new corporate partner, at least for its upcoming dance across the globe. The tour begins June 30 in Barcelona, Spain, with the kickoff to the band's Live Nation tour to support its new "No Line on the Horizon" album. The tour will be sponsored by , whose decidedly staid is being challenged by Apple's gadget eye candy .

"This tour announcement marks the first stage of a relationship and shared vision between RIM and U2 that we expect will lead to new and innovative ways to enhance the mobile music experience on the BlackBerry platform for U2 fans," U2 manager Paul McGuinness said. "We look forward to sharing more details as the relationship unfolds."

It wasn't long ago that and U2 were joined at the, uh, iPod

In 2004, lead singer Bono and the guitarist known as Edge joined Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs on the stage of the newly restored California Theatre in San Jose to announce an unprecedented marketing partnership between U2 and the Cupertino technology company.

Then came the jet-black iPod U2 Special Edition.

"This love affair between Steve Jobs and Bono - I don't know," Needham analyst Charles Wolf said. "Hey, it's a democracy. Bono was hanging out with Bill Gates for a while."

Alas, money is thicker than love.

Chances are, the capitalist rockers - Bono is a leader at Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm Elevation Partners, after all - played the two smart-phone makers off each other, said analyst Rob Enderle.

"RIM was able to come up with the cash and Apple didn't," Enderle said. "I imagine one of the reasons RIM got this is because Steve Jobs (out on sick leave) is not there to say, 'What a minute. We should probably own this one.'"

Of course, Apple isn't known for spending a lot of dough to sponsor concerts. Besides, Apple got plenty of marketing bang from U2 - without backing an expensive tour.

Apple had no comment on U2's new corporate playmate.

If anyone should be peeved, it should be Palm, Wolf said. After all, Elevation Partners is an investor in the Sunnyvale company, which is about to release its own touch-screen smart-phone, called Pre, that will compete with the iPhone and the BlackBerry.

"That tells you what (Bono) thinks about the new Pre," he quipped.

___

(c) 2009, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).
Visit MercuryNews.com, the World Wide Web site of the Mercury News, at www.mercurynews.com.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Media reaping profits from Internet (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New iPod mini Starting at Just $199

Feb 23, 2005

Apple® today unveiled the second generation iPod® mini lineup with a new 4GB model priced at just $199 and a new 6GB model with 50 percent more storage priced at $249. Both iPod mini models feature increased ...

Apple to launch '06 products

Jan 09, 2006

Tech analysts and electronics retailers will be watching San Francisco this week to see if Apple can top the iPod.

Steve Jobs Blogs on Making Apple Greener

May 03, 2007

The Apple CEO's latest post outlines Apple's plans to become environmentally friendlier through safer display technology and an expanded iPod recycling program.

Recommended for you

Sony forecasts $2B loss as smartphones lag (Update)

8 hours ago

Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business.

Alibaba post-IPO structure gives insiders control

8 hours ago

Control over Alibaba Group will stay in the hands of founder Jack Ma and other company veterans after the Chinese e-commerce giant goes public on the New York Stock Exchange in a record busting share sale.

User comments : 0