Apple’s iPhone is outdated, according to the Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion Ltd.
Mr. Thorsten Heins made the comment on Thursday on the eve of the much-delayed launch of the new touch screen BlackBerry in the United States. AT&T begins selling the Z10 touch screen BlackBerry on Friday, more than six weeks after RIM launched the devices elsewhere.
Both the touch screen and keyboard models are part of RIM’s attempt at a comeback after the pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apple’s 2007 release of the iPhone.
“It’s still the same,” Mr. Heins said of the iPhone. “It is a sequential way to work and that’s not what people want today anymore. They want multitasking.”
RIM’s new software allows users to have multiple applications open like on a desktop, he said, noting that with BlackBerry you don’t have to close an application to check an email.
“We’re changing it for the better because we’re allowing people to peak in the hub,” Mr. Heins said.
Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris declined comment.
But the delay in selling the new keypad BlackBerry, called the Q10, complicates RIM’s efforts to hang on to customers tempted by the iPhone and a range of devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Even as the BlackBerry has fallen behind rivals in recent years, many BlackBerry users have stayed loyal because they prefer a physical keyboard over the touch screen found on the iPhone and most Android devices. But the temptations to switch grow with each additional delay, despite favorable reviews for new system.
“It’s our job to deliver the right software package and the right software quality to the carriers,” he said. “Then it is on the carriers to decide how intense they want their testing cycle to be and that really can range from a few weeks to three months.”
U.S. carriers reportedly haven’t made testing a priority because RIM, which is based in Based in Waterloo, Ontario, has dramatically lost market share. The U.S. has been one market in which RIM has been particularly hurting, even as the company is doing well overseas. According to research firm IDC, shipments of BlackBerry phones plummeted from 46 percent of the U.S. market in 2008 to 2 percent in 2012. The iPhone and Android now dominate.
“You got to win here to win everywhere else,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. We’ve lost market share quite a bit, to put it mildly, and we absolutely need BlackBerry 10 to turn us around.”
“I get more and more excited every day,” he said. “I really have to make sure I stay grounded and I don’t lose my sense for reality. But for the whole company this is so important to finally be here, and to see people buying it, after we were told 30 months ago when we started that two quarters down the road we would be bankrupt, we would be out of business.”