BlackBerry boss has swipe at Apple as Z10 hits stores


The BlackBerry Z10 smartphone is displayed, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 in New York. BlackBerry is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company. AP FLE PHOTO

SYDNEY – The head of BlackBerry has taken a swipe at Apple, saying in an interview the iPhone’s operating system was outdated, while promising thousands of new apps as it prepares to launch its new Z10 handset.

Thorsten Heins said there were signs users were switching to the Canada-based firm, which rebranded itself on launching its BlackBerry 10 platform this year, as it works to win back those who had shifted to the iPhone or Android devices.

He told the Australian Financial Review that big name apps such as Instagram and Netflix were being attracted by the reaction to its new BB10 operating system.

“Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market… They did a fantastic job with the user interface, they are a design icon,” he said.

“The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old.”

While BlackBerry helped create a culture of mobile users who were glued to the company’s smartphones, many of those customers have since moved to Apple or other smartphone makers such as Samsung.

Apple’s iPhone remains hugely popular but its iOS system is almost unchanged since 2007 and the firm’s CEO Tim Cook last week sought to allay fears over what some suggest is a lack of innovation, saying it still has the ability to “create magic”.

The touchscreen Z10, operating on the BB10 system, is seen as critical to BlackBerry’s future.

At the Z10 Canadian launch in January, many observers praised its technical prowess but suggested a relatively small amount of available apps — 70,000 — could prove a problem.

Heins said the company now expected 100,000 apps to be ready for the US Z10 launch later this week and negotiations were advancing with photo sharing service Instagram and video provider Netflix.

“We are working constantly on getting these important apps on board,” he told the newspaper.

“I think we are seeing the dynamic changing over time as they want to watch and see how BlackBerry 10 is making it in the market.

“They want ROI (return on investment) on their development dollars as well. I think this is a very respectful way of looking at your business, and it is our job to convince them that BB10 is a successful platform.”

Heins added that the company was in a robust financial position and was boosted last week when a mystery buyer ordered one million handsets — which he said was the biggest in BlackBerry history.

“This is huge, those customers take on inventory and a financial risk, and in doing this it shows that they have a very strong belief that they can be successful with BlackBerry 10,” he said.

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  • Jao Romero

    the only smart phone i am eagerly awaiting for is the one Google will be releasing.

  • indiosbravos2002

    Even before the Z10 can gather momentum, other smartphone manufacturers have announced or have released of their “upgraded” smartphones. I really doubt if this phone can make a dent in the market.

  • indiosbravos2002

    RIM is just prolonging its end. Sales have not been kind to the Z10 in other markets as compared to sales expectations. I bet it will be a disaster as well in its US launch. Buying a BB is a risk nowadays if one intends to sell it later for an upgraded unit, particularly it there would be no demand to begin with. Personally, I think they should have just jumped the Android bandwagon and maintained the BBM system as a unique app for the BB. With their supposedly superior hardware and established branding as a social and corporate phone, they could easily give Samsung a run for its money.

  • Julius Buma-at

    There are only 2 smartphones that looks great IMHO and these are Sony Xperia Z/ZL and BlackBerry Z10 and Q10. And BlackBerry’s new phone and OS looks very promising and appealing while Sony’s Xperia Z/ZL has stamina mode which makes battery life last longer. They maybe the underdogs but I like betting the odds.

    • indiosbravos2002

      Smartphones are not all about the looks. Its also about the apps, features and how bobo friendly the device is. Thats why the iphone and the galaxy note 2 sells.

    • Flugie

      Check out HTC’S The One.

  • KpTUL

    Competition is always good for customers as it ups the ante for all of the makers. I am an iphone fan and wont shift allegiance in the near future. I just want apple to innovate more and stop cashing in with the laurels of their inventions 5 years ago.
    Of course IOS is very stable and battery efficient so i might stick to apple for some time …

    • kangsongdaeguk

      IOS is battery efficient?? Oh…

      • generalproblem

        Apple product is always battery efficient compare to android because they are vertically integrated. meaning software and hardware are both made by apple so they can optimize the performance while android is own by google and samsung and other android user cannot optimize it. I believe blackberry will be the same as apple that is battery efficient and faster even though they have ram capacity half of android phone.

    • pubringjuandelacruz

      just want to know, what are your expectations on the upcoming release of another iPhone this year?

    • indiosbravos2002

      Battery in an iphone with mobile data turned on wont last you four hours. How efficient is that?

  • pubringjuandelacruz

    let us see where Z10 would land in the smartphone race. We all know what happen to Kodak due to their technical knowledge about their product. *with a grin smile on my face*

    • indiosbravos2002

      RIM has become a dinosaur, same as Nokia. They used to be the main predators in the smartphone biz. However, they got lazy and the android thing happened.

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