BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins calls the iPhone ‘old’. Yes, really.

BlackBerry 10 Thorsten Heins

BlackBerry 10 Thorsten Heins

For today’s instalment of ‘that’s so ironic’, I present to you the words of BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins. The man who is head of the company whose devices have been repeatedly criticised for failing to innovate and keep up with the pace of change (before the launch of BlackBerry 10, at least) has reportedly called the iPhone “old”.

Speaking to the Australian Financial Review, Heins added his voice to the arguments that Apple’s designs are increasingly becoming evolutionary and not revolutionary, saying “the rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly” and that “the user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old”.

BlackBerry has spent a lot of time redesigning their operating system to be more gesture-based and allow for quicker and easier multitasking — an area where Heins thinks Apple has fallen short. “The point is that you can never stand still. It is true for us as well. Launching BB10 just put us on the starting grid of the wider mobile computing grand prix, and now we need to win it,” Heins said.

Bold statements from the CEO, especially when you consider the company’s recent history and that Apple’s phones have consistently outperformed BlackBerry’s devices in the sales stakes. Apple secured an estimated seven percent of worldwide mobile phone marketshare last year, while BlackBerry accounted for just two percent. Nevertheless, BlackBerry loyalists are optimistic about the revamped platform and new phones like the flagship Z10 are gathering (generally) positive reviews.

In the interview, Heins also touched on a few issues that are still haunting his company, like the absence of notable apps like Netflix and Instagram. Heins reiterated that they are working on it, and said that he thinks developers are still waiting to see how popular the platform is before committing to a BlackBerry app. He also said that there would be 100 000 native apps in BlackBerry’s App World before the official US launch of the new phones, up from 70 000 when the phones originally hit the market back in February.



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