BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has dismissed the iPhone for slowly innovating, arguing that while BlackBerry 10 owes iOS for its groundwork on touch devices, Apple’s aging UI leaves it passé. “Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market, they did a fantastic job with the user interface” Heins told The Australian Financial Review as the Z10 made its debut down under, but argued that “the rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate … you can be replaced pretty quickly.” That’s something Apple should fear, Heins argues.
“The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about is now five years old” he concluded. In contrast, Heins claimed, BlackBerry 10 is better at multi-tasking than Apple’s phone, .
The CEO wouldn’t be drawn on specific sales figures, pointing out that BlackBerry is in a quiet period ahead of announcing its latest financial results. However, he did re-confirm that the company is considering the potential for licensing BlackBerry 10 – assuming it could find other manufacturers sufficiently interested in using it on their own devices – but said that, right now, the focus is on the roll-out of the Z10.
Hardware we shouldn’t expect to see delivered any time soon is a tablet, though. Here, Heins gives Apple a little more credit: “Kudos to Apple, I think they really managed to own that space, so it doesn’t make sense for me to just take this head on” he conceded. “I need to figure out, for my enterprise customers, for my consumers, for my BB10 audience, what can I do that provides them a mobile computing experience in the form factor of a tablet, which goes beyond just the puristic tablet experience.”
That stance echoes comments by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who has repeatedly said that the Finnish firm will only wade into the tablet space once it can find a sufficiently unique angle to take with it. “I think the profit pool is very very thin,” BlackBerry’s Heins mused.