What the BlackBerry guys said as Apple ate their lunch by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine September 17, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons A collection of delusional quotations, courtesy of Business Insider’s Jay Yarow Source: Asymco Touchscreen smartphones have finally taken their toll on the venerable BlackBerry. As the Asmyco chart at right shows, BlackBerry shipments (green line) hit a wall in early 2011 and have been headed south ever since. Did Mike Lazaridis and Jim Basille, Research in Motion’s RIMM co-founders, underestimate the threat posed by Apple AAPL ? You bet they did — loudly, repeatedly and at times incomprehensibly. A few sample quotes, take from Jay Yarow’s amusing collection at Business Insider: Source: Business Insider Balsillie on the iPhone in February 2007: “It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.” Lazaridis on the iPhone in November 2007: “Try typing a web key on a touchscreen on an Apple iPhone, that’s a real challenge. You cannot see what you type.” Lazaridis in 2008: “I think what happened was the amount of marketing and the attention (Apple) generated in the market — the customers are now coming to the store and saying I didn’t know you could do all that with a phone. And when they get there they realize there’s a selection — there’s not just one device. And so what it’s actually done is increased our sales.” Lazaridis on the iPad: “So the question you have ask yourself is when it comes to tablet, what market or what opportunities still it’s solving, what problem is it solving, and is it just a replacement laptop.” Balsillie at the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook: “For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7″ 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.” You can flip through Yarow’s full list of RIM quotations here, or read them all in one page here.