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U2 dumps Apple for RIM, Palm

By Nick Spence, Macworld.co.uk
March 11, 2009 02:20 PM ET

Macworld.co.uk - Apple's CEO Steve Jobs mutual love and admiration for rock royalty U2 seems to be all but over.

In 2004, an Apple-style silhouetted U2 sang hit single 'Vertigo' in an iPod ad, which helped the band achieve a number one single in the UK and elsewhere while driving iPod sales.

Steve Jobs famously hugged U2's Bono and The Edge at the California Theatre in San Jose during an Apple event in October 2004.

Apple released a red iPod U2 Special Edition, while U2 helped launch the new iPod video in 2005 and promote the range of (PRODUCT) RED iPods to benefit a campaign to fight AIDS in Africa.

Now U2 will tour their latest release 'No Line on the Horizon,' currently number one in the UK album charts, with a tour sponsored by Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry smartphone.

Manager Paul McGuinness told a press conference on Monday: "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. We look forward to sharing more details as the relationship unfolds."

To add insult to injury, Bono is also partner in venture firm Elevation Partners, which owns 39 per cent of Palm, which plans to release the iPhone-like Pre this summer, just as U2 set off on another epic tour.

The U2 360° Tour will visit venues in North America and Europe between July and September this year, with dates confirmed for Dublin (24 July), London (14 August), Glasgow (18 August), Sheffield (20 August) and Cardiff (22 August).

With dates in Chicago, Boston and East Rutherford also confirmed and many more US gigs planned, if Steve Jobs does attend a forthcoming U2 concert he may have to wear blinkers to avoid the BlackBerry ads.

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