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Restrictions drove U2 to switch sides from Apple to RIM - report

post #1 of 111
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Apple's penchant for keeping its partners out of the loop reportedly cost the company its relationship with alternative rock band U2, which recently drew sponsorship from rival smartphone market Research in Motion.

According to a report in the GlobeAndMail, Toronto-based radio DJ Alan Cross recently came face-to-face with Bono following a secret concert in Boston where he struck up a conversation with the U2 frontman about the band's new partnership with RIM.

"I'm very excited about this," Bono is reported to have said. "Research In Motion is going to give us what Apple wouldn't -- access to their labs and their people so we can do something really spectacular."

Asked whether this had something to do with a new application U2 wanted to create to allow fans to interact with the band as part of its "U2 360" tour, Bono reportedly said, "You're not far off," before disappearing into a crowd of people.

Last month, U2 announced that the new tour -- expected to be its biggest yet -- would be sponsored by Research In Motion's BlackBerry line of smartphones, distancing itself from its one-time ally in the iPod maker.

"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," said U2's manager Paul McGuinness. "We look forward to sharing more details as the relationship unfolds."

In October 2004 Apple and the band hosted a special event together to introduce the new black and red iPod U2 Special Edition.

"U2 is one of the greatest bands in the world and we are floored to be working with them," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said at the time. "We just want to make some innovative products together, and we hope U2 fans will love having their very own special edition iPod."

An advertisement for U2's upcoming tour | Image courtesy of U2365.com.

The partnership continued to blossom the following year when U2 helped launch the new iPod video with an ad campaign featuring a live music video for the track "Original of the Species." In June 2006, yet another product emerged as a result of the partnership: a U2 branded video iPod.

U2's Bono was also believed to be instrumental in compelling Apple to release several (Product) Red-braned iPods (1, 2, 3, 4), a portion of the sales of which went to help benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
post #2 of 111
You're Fi(red).
post #3 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bono

Research In Motion is going to give us what Apple wouldn't -- access to their labs and their people so we can do something really spectacular.

WTF?

Why the heck would they need access to the labs? Is Bono a scientist now?

I predict this switch will be the last nail in U2's coffin. They are already ancient and mostly irrelevant. Switching from the cool brand to the un-cool brand is all it will take to make anyone younger than 50 or so think twice about buying their albums.
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post #4 of 111
F U Bono.

With your big glasses to match that big head of yours.

One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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One thought he was invincible... the other thought he could fly.

They were both wrong.

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post #5 of 111
Bono: Sign up for the Developer Program, hire some actual developers and designers. Have them interact with the iPhone Program. Deal with it. The fact you think you deserve the royal treatment and got rebuked should tell you that U2 is puny compared to Apple.

Grow up and pay your taxes lad. Stop cheating the government of your fair share and then parading around about how cruel governments are by not giving back more money.
post #6 of 111
When are people going to stop calling U2 alternative? How exactly is arguably the world's most popular band not mainstream? Further, they had about 4 albums out before the "alternative" genre even existed.

I wonder if this was really about Apple's unwillingness to cooperate with a partner (gee, sounds familiar) or RIM simply offering U2 a better deal. Thoughts?
post #7 of 111
I'm still trying to figure out why this news matters.

Bono could use a freaking cup with string for all I care.
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post #8 of 111
Not dissing the story, I think it's interesting. But does it matter? Did U2 drive that many iPod sales? Will anyone buy a Blackberry over an iPhone or iPod because of U2 ??

Looking forward, as the Apple system becomes further entrenched in the living room with iPhone Remote, Airport Express, and Apple TV, I see the need for this kind of promotion fading quickly.

Once upon a time iPods needed something to distinguish themselves. Now - with millions of users up to their elbows in iTunes the need is greatly diminished.
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post #9 of 111
I am a Mac die hard and always have been and always will be.

If I were not friends with someone who has had direct interaction with Apple from a business standpoint, I would not feel as I do. Which is, Apple is very, very difficult to deal with in a business to business manner. This in no way means that Apple is not great and all that it touches turns to gold. In fact, I would say that this move on U2's part will not help them (U2) and in fact may hurt them, but I don't blame them. You would think that if a band with the sales, clout and charitable agenda that U2 has, came to Apple with the goal of being creative, that Apple would say "yeah, lets see what we can do." But, from what I have heard, they just are not good collaborators.

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post #10 of 111
Of course the decision by U2 to switch sides has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of money they were offered by RIM Bono makes me sick, he bangs on about all that RED bollocks yet doesn't pay his taxes and expects everyone else to fund his charities why he seal major commercial deals for his own benefit.
post #11 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude abides View Post

When are people going to stop calling U2 alternative? How exactly is arguably the world's most popular band not mainstream? Further, they had about 4 albums out before the "alternative" genre even existed.

It's been 25 years now, dude. Time to just shake your head and stop caring.

I gave up on the term "graphic novel" years ago. It's just a big comic book, for fuck's sake. (Dammit, I guess I should practice what I preach.)
Multiplex is an online comic strip about the staff of a movie theater.
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Multiplex is an online comic strip about the staff of a movie theater.
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post #12 of 111
I don't think Apple sells any product(red) products anymore, do they?
post #13 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

I don't think Apple sells any product(red) products anymore, do they?

yeah they do. "product [red]" might have originally been a U2 initiative but it's far bigger then them now.

All U2 has done for Apple is make them produce the ugliest iPod colour scheme ever (the U2 iPod). It will be very interesting to see what they end up doing with Riim that is so cool that Apple refused to help them out with.

I predict that it will be nothing much at all.
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post #14 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I predict this switch will be the last nail in U2's coffin. They are already ancient and mostly irrelevant. Switching from the cool brand to the un-cool brand is all it will take to make anyone younger than 50 or so think twice about buying their albums.

Deluded fanboi consumerism at its finest.
post #15 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

WTF?

Why the heck would they need access to the labs? Is Bono a scientist now?

I predict this switch will be the last nail in U2's coffin. They are already ancient and mostly irrelevant. Switching from the cool brand to the un-cool brand is all it will take to make anyone younger than 50 or so think twice about buying their albums.

My god- your venom is in high gear. They are an iconic rock band- like it or not. Last month every Apple fan boy here was making excuses that there was nothing wrong, Apple doesn't sponsor concerts- blah, blah, blah. Money talks and bullshit walks.
post #16 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

yeah they do. "product [red]" might have originally been a U2 initiative but it's far bigger then them now.

All U2 has done for Apple is make them produce the ugliest iPod colour scheme ever (the U2 iPod). It will be very interesting to see what they end up doing with Riim that is so cool that Apple refused to help them out with.

I predict that it will be nothing much at all.

Whatever it is I'm sure you'll hate it because it's not with Apple.
post #17 of 111
Good riddance, I was pissed at Apple partnering with them in the first place. I would seriously rather listen to Soulja Boy.

The 11 worst songs of 2004
post #18 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Whatever it is I'm sure you'll hate it because it's not with Apple.

And you'll have something snarky to say because it is.
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post #19 of 111
I like that U2 and RIM have a "shared vision." Because I think corporate "rock" is awesome.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #20 of 111
Look if apple wants to be arrogant let them that is after all what they do best. I have used mac's since 85' so I am a die hard but this is how apple ruins relationships.
for those of you who think this is a nail in the coffin of U2.. you really do not have much of a brain or pay much attention to the music industry. U2 are far from dead and one of the most respected group of individuals outside of the industry as well.
post #21 of 111
It would be interesting to find out what kind of technological contribution U2 can provide for Apple.
post #22 of 111
As if this will be a catastrophic blow to Apple? Yeah, I'm sure partnering with U2 was an integral part of their branding strategy.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #23 of 111
It's kind of like that old philosophical question...

If U2 joins RIM, Does anyone care?

I don't, so Apple isn't going to make an ugly iPod I wouldn't buy anyway.
post #24 of 111
My mom believes that Bono is a spy. Funny.
post #25 of 111
I had always assumed Apple's dealings with U2 were more about Steve's love for U2 than an actual business partnership. What did Apple ever really get from the partnership. U2's fanbase just isn't Apple's target market. There are much better bands out there that Apple could be dealing with for 1/4 of the cost and 1/4 of the ego as U2.
post #26 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I like that U2 and RIM have a "shared vision." Because I think corporate "rock" is awesome.


That shared vision involves desperately grasping at anything to avoid irrelevance.
I get it, they'll call it ME2

Oh, wait, methinks it's too late!

Seriously, who the fuck cares about RIM or U2.
Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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Macintosh: It just WORKS!
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post #27 of 111
C'mmon...this is funny. Who wouldn't tune in to a reality show starring a washed up rock star with funny glasses blinding us with science straight from Cupertino. Throw Steve Jobs and some honeys in there and you'd have a major hit show no nerd could look away from. I say apple missed the boat on this one.
post #28 of 111
U2? Christ, do they still tour? The last song I heard them play was "I still haven't found what I'm looking for". Didn't he get hit for not paying taxes?

Boring...who cares. Yeah, just what I want; none stop mobile access to a band of washups. Bwahhhaahaaa
post #29 of 111
What's that old saying about history repeating itself?

In this case, Bono and the boys are doing just that.

Or doesn't anyone remember the arrogance of the band during their "Zoo TV" days, when they refused to play any of the old songs while on tour, because it would take away from the glory that was "Zoo TV."

Once upon a time you were relevant, Bono. But in my book? Your 15 minutes of fame has lasted way too long.

I, for one, will be rather pleased once Research In Motion finally figures out that they were the ones that got "RIM'd."
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post #30 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelskyrust View Post

Of course the decision by U2 to switch sides has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of money they were offered by RIM Bono makes me sick, he bangs on about all that RED bollocks yet doesn't pay his taxes and expects everyone else to fund his charities why he seal major commercial deals for his own benefit.

I rolled my eyes when I heard the title of UT's first single -- "Magnificent."

You spend enough time in the bubble -- "advising" Tony Blair, etc. -- you start thinking you can jump on Oprah's couch. Bono, dude, you still have to take a crap twice a day like the rest of us. Get over yourself.
post #31 of 111
This just in: Palm announces partnership with Rick Astley, to feature limited edition "RickRoll Pre". More news as it develops...

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #32 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

Deluded fanboi consumerism at its finest.

...and the use of "fanboi" automatically makes your comments irrelevant.

The fact is that Apple is considered a "cool" brand and lots of cool hip people own Apple products, especially in the music and entertainment industry. There are studies done on branding every year that come back with that conclusion. It's also a "given" that Blackberry is a brand most admired by business geeks, generally of the 40+ age range and isn't considered particularly "cool" but merely practical.

For a seriously ageing band that hasn't had a good hit song in a lot of years, to be associating themselves with older geeky business execs rather than the young, cool brand is a questionable move.

If U2 is seen as "past it," their business suffers.
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post #33 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

It would be interesting to find out what kind of technological contribution U2 can provide for Apple.

LOL thats what I know, what the heck do they know about technology.
post #34 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

It's been 25 years now, dude. Time to just shake your head and stop caring.

I gave up on the term "graphic novel" years ago. It's just a big comic book, for fuck's sake. (Dammit, I guess I should practice what I preach.)

Damn, that's funny!
Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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Pity the agnostic dyslectic. They spend all their time contemplating the existence of dog.
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post #35 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The fact is that Apple is considered a "cool" brand and lots of cool hip people own Apple products

...matters to insecure tools who need to validate their petty lives through associations with advertising slogans.

It hasn't seemed to prevent U2 from having the #1 album on Billboard's charts a couple of weeks ago, though.
post #36 of 111
From kevinJedwards.com:

According to AppleInsider, Restrictions drove U2 to switch sides from Apple to RIM, Apple lost the sponsorship opportunity for U2 to RIM due to Apple not being willing to appease U2. Im not that big of a fan of U2 (and forget the but U2 sucks comments), the fact is, U2 is HUGE. While artistically I think they ran out of substance a long time ago and are running high on gimmicks, they do get millions of people engaged in what theyre doing around the world.

From U2s perspective, they want to be treated like the artistic Gods they think they are. They want *something*, anything that their status gives them exclusive access to, so they can seem cutting edge.

Apple, isnt so accustomed to placating in this regard, and probably has the perspective that theyve got all kinds of high priority partners to provide direct support and access to, such as Microsoft (Office for the iPhone), or Adobe (Flash).

Given the clash of corporate and brand protecting egotistical giants, I could see how there would be a conflict between U2 and Apple.

But this ultimately ends up hurting Apple.

U2 goes on and does something with RIM for the Blackberry, which will probably be something with less whiz-bang bells and whistles. However, Apple loses the promotional opportunity completely. Furthermore, Apple loses some of its edge as the media smartphone as opposed to just the smartphone. In other words, some people may see the Blackberry as just as hip, cool, and media savvy, but better for business use than the iPhone. The opposite of this of course would be Microsoft offering Office for the iPhone as an exclusive.

Of course all of this assumes that the article at AppleInsider is correct, and Apple lost U2 for reasons other than RIM simply just deciding this opportunity was worth pouring a boatload of cash into and simply outbidding Apple.

The bottom line though is that this is yet another example of how Apple needs to open up and play nicer with partners. Somehow though I cant imagine Steve Jobs is spending his time off right now ripping up iU2 photos.
post #37 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

From kevinJedwards.com:

According to AppleInsider, Restrictions drove U2 to switch sides from Apple to RIM, Apple lost the sponsorship opportunity for U2 to RIM due to Apple not being willing to appease U2. Im not that big of a fan of U2 (and forget the but U2 sucks comments), the fact is, U2 is HUGE. While artistically I think they ran out of substance a long time ago and are running high on gimmicks, they do get millions of people engaged in what theyre doing around the world.

From U2s perspective, they want to be treated like the artistic Gods they think they are. They want *something*, anything that their status gives them exclusive access to, so they can seem cutting edge.

Apple, isnt so accustomed to placating in this regard, and probably has the perspective that theyve got all kinds of high priority partners to provide direct support and access to, such as Microsoft (Office for the iPhone), or Adobe (Flash).

Given the clash of corporate and brand protecting egotistical giants, I could see how there would be a conflict between U2 and Apple.

But this ultimately ends up hurting Apple.

U2 goes on and does something with RIM for the Blackberry, which will probably be something with less whiz-bang bells and whistles. However, Apple loses the promotional opportunity completely. Furthermore, Apple loses some of its edge as the media smartphone as opposed to just the smartphone. In other words, some people may see the Blackberry as just as hip, cool, and media savvy, but better for business use than the iPhone. The opposite of this of course would be Microsoft offering Office for the iPhone as an exclusive.

Of course all of this assumes that the article at AppleInsider is correct, and Apple lost U2 for reasons other than RIM simply just deciding this opportunity was worth pouring a boatload of cash into and simply outbidding Apple.

The bottom line though is that this is yet another example of how Apple needs to open up and play nicer with partners. Somehow though I cant imagine Steve Jobs is spending his time off right now ripping up iU2 photos.

Gibberish.

Let's assume what the above thinks would negate this argument: that the U2/RIM deal is strictly a matter of cash. How does that change anything? If it's a win for RIM, PR wise, why does the deal being done on strictly mercantile terms make it any less a win? Or any more of a win, if that how it strikes you?

And how is U2 a "partner" that is emblematic of Apple's need to play nicer? Apple needs to play nice with its developers and third party peripheral makers. Given the state of both, they appear to playing plenty nice enough. The fact that they may or may not have given a rock band sufficient ass kissing to keep them happy has no bearing on that.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #38 of 111
i'm a mac fan and a u2 fan... in fact my u2 ipod sits proudly on my shelf - it died a death like most ipods do.

yeah was surprised at the blackberry move - u2 aren't used to taking corporate sponsors so there must be something there they're hoping to explore or the economy has forced their hand.

for those rantin bout the taxes - they moved most of their earnings and interests offshore might be hypocritical but i too would rather have more cash in hand which i can choose to whom to give it to or spend it (nice mac pros come to mind..) rather than give more to incompetent governments lining their pockets and mismanaging everything.

those who ranted on the arrogance of zootv with them not wanting to play old songs... u2 generally play a mix of old and new. heck on the last tour they played songs from their first album too

i like their new album more than their previous two and it also has a mac reference in a lyric ("force quit and move to trust")
post #39 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The fact is that Apple is considered a "cool" brand and lots of cool hip people own Apple products, especially in the music and entertainment industry. There are studies done on branding every year that come back with that conclusion. It's also a "given" that Blackberry is a brand most admired by business geeks, generally of the 40+ age range and isn't considered particularly "cool" but merely practical.

For a seriously ageing band that hasn't had a good hit song in a lot of years, to be associating themselves with older geeky business execs rather than the young, cool brand is a questionable move.

If U2 is seen as "past it," their business suffers.

I think your identification of the target demographic is correct, however I disagree that it
will make RIM's business suffer. I think U2 and Blackberries appeal to the same group of
people. I think Apple's target group is much younger, thus they would be better served
by hiring a band who appeals to younger people, if they want to hire a band at all.
post #40 of 111
U2 has not been alternative since the 1990s. Now they just do bland pop rock. Long ago, however, they were brilliant.
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