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Gloves Are Coming Off In Mobile Vendor FUD Wars

The mobile industry FUD is flying thick, with executives from major players going at it hammer and tongs to paint their competitors as clueless and weak.

According to a report in The Register, Mike Lazaridis, co-founder and CEO of Research In Motion, last week told a gathering of reporters at the company's Waterloo, Ontario headquarters that the keyboard on Apple's iPhone leaves much to be desired from a usability standpoint.

"Try typing a Web key on a touch screen on an iPhone, that's a real challenge. You cannot see what you type," Lazardis said. "The iPhone has severe limitations when it comes to effortless typing. Of course you have more screen space, with more artistic interactions, but that's not enough."

At the event, RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie waded in with a "What, me worry?" comment of his own, this one directed at Microsoft. "Windows Mobile isn't that big a competitor. They are a modest force to RIM," Balsillie told reporters.

Never one to be outdone, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told reporters at a press conference in Tokyo that he's not sure what to think of Google's Android mobile software platform, dismissing it as "just some words on paper right now".

And earlier this week, Symbian Vice President Of Strategy John Forsyth did his best wicked stepsister imitation, haughtily informing newcomer Google that they'll have stay home and scrub the floors while established mobile OS vendors get to go to the ball.

"Search and a mobile phone platform are completely different things," Forsyth told the BBC News.

Mobile industry watchers, get your popcorn ready, because this fight is going to be fun to watch.

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