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The head of Blackeberry refers to the iPhone as outdated
The BlackBerry Boss, Thorsten Heins laughed at the iPhone describing it as outdated while he was on stage launching the Z10, the company’s new phone coming in the US. The Z10 comes with a touchscreen. It has been long delayed and was finally released this Thursday. It runs the BB10. Most RIM fans were expecting it for about a year now.
Heins added that in the next 3 months the Z10 will be followed by the Q10, another handset also running the BB10 software but this time with the usual keyboard as most users prefer it. The head of BlackBerry did not hesitate to attack the iPhone in front of the Associated Press claiming that the Apple’s product lacked innovation and could not do multitask. To him the device designed by Apple is still the same, it only offers a sequential way to work for its user and people at this point want more than that, they want a phone that can do multitask.
Let’s not forget that in the US the Apple made phones still makes up to 38% of the installed base of smartphones compared to 5.9% claimed by RIM.
The BB10 software has been designed to allow users to flip between apps and “peek” at email without having to leave the frontmost app, said Heins. The company is changing its phone for the better by allowing users to peak in the hub. He talked about the iPhone as been revolutionary 5 year ago but now it was just kind of sitting there.
The chief executive of Research in Motion did not deny the fact that it was essential for the phone to succeed in the US first. That was the only way the phone could win users in other countries. He admitted that the company has lost market share quite a bit but they would do their best to push the BlackBerry 10 and turn things around.
The reality is Heins is also struggling to convince the Us carriers to carry the phone. For example T-mobile did not have much interest in the Q10 and has only agreed to sell the Z10 while Sprint is only interested in the Q10. Let’s not forget that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will arrive only in a month and it is expected to sell strongly in the US markets.
According the chief executive of the BlackBerry, initial sales in other countries were encouraging. He didn’t give more details in terms of numbers. Maybe he prefers to release them on the RIM’s earnings report next Thursday.
He claimed to get more and more excited as the days pass by and was trying his best to stay grounded and realistic. He said it was an important step for the company to finally get the phone out and see people buying it considering the fact that they were told 30 months earlier that the company will go bankrupt two quarters down the road. The company was expected to be out of business by now.
To explain why the Q10 was delayed Heins blamed it on the different test the phone carriers wanted before approving the device. He mentioned that when it come to testing, it could take from a few weeks to 3 months depending on how intense the carriers wanted it.
Based on data from research firm IDC, shipments of BlackBerry phones went down from 46% in 2008 to 2% in 2012 looking at the US smartphone market. The fall in sales started a year after the iPhone launched. Today the iPhone and Android have taking over the market with 90% of the installed base of 129.4 million phone users.
The reality is as the iPhone drives into its former corporate strongholds and Android taking the rest of the consumer base, the BlackBerry is struggling as it looks at its market share decline. The company is due to report its financial figures for the 4th quarter on the coming Thursday. The past 3 quarters it was reported to have lost $744 million, shrinking its revenues to 41%. The report on the 4th quarter will only include the sales of the Z10 during the first month it was released in the UK and Canada. These 2 countries represent RIM’s strongest market.
The news is not always good for the BlackBerry. It has come to light that the UK government has still not yet approved the BB10 to the same level as the BB7 software. The BB7 is still the only phone approved for the spy center GCHQ and the UK’s CESG. CESG said they are still discussing with the phone manufacturer concerning the use of the BB10 and they are evaluating the security performance of the new device.
Meanwhile, the US Government denied a report stating that it intended to move to the iPhone devices, throwing away 470,000 BlackBerry devices in the process. But it did admit considering going for either iPhone or Android devices for future projects.
There have been growing concerns over the financial position of BlackBerry to the point that the Canadian minister of industry prefered not to comment when asked if he was against selling the company to Lenovo, a chinese PC and smartphone maker. He expressed his hope that the brand remains Canadian champion in the world but admitted that the market is very tough so he wouldn’t want to prejudge a deal or not.