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When Apple’s Steve Jobs announced a new licensing deal for Microsoft software that makes Apple’s iPhone more attractive to businesspeople, venture capitalist John Doerr (MBA ’76) of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers was also on hand, the New York Times reported (March 7, 2008). Jobs took the occasion to reveal that Doerr’s firm has created a $100 million “iFund” to encourage programmers to develop all manner of software, from games to business, for the iPhone; Kleiner Perkins will back promising new iPhone ideas and the entrepreneurs behind them. “The potential for iPhone is huge,” Doerr said.

Apple’s deal with Microsoft marked a big step in its campaign to compete with BlackBerry in the smartphone sector — the Canadian company holds 41 percent of U.S. market share to iPhone’s 28 percent. Even as Apple seeks to broaden its appeal in the corporate world, BlackBerry is adding features to entice non-business consumers. With the two devices blurring their differences, Jim Balsillie (MBA ’89), co–chief executive of Research In Motion, BlackBerry’s manufacturer, noted that “blackberries have a lot of antioxidants, and apples have a lot of fiber, too” (Financial Post, March 7, 2008).

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1976, Section C
Class of MBA 1989, Section B

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