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. I’m 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 they’re doing around the world.
From U2′s 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, isn’t so accustomed to placating in this regard, and probably has the perspective that they’ve 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 can’t imagine Steve Jobs is spending his time off right now ripping up iU2 photos.