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He said other smartphones -- like Android-powered devices -- are leaving Apple in its dust

Apple isn't the only tech giant who can throw a few punches in the competitive smartphone ring: BlackBerry's CEO took a couple of shots at Apple recently, saying the iPhone is old news.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins told The Australian Financial Review that Apple's iPhone has been left behind during a storm of new smartphone releases (such as Android and BlackBerry 10 smartphones).

“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," said Heins. "There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that.

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


Heins went on to say that his company's own BlackBerry 10 smartphones surpass the iPhone in one way especially -- multi-tasking. He said BB10 phones can run multiple apps much like a laptop while the iPhone seems to lack in that area.

“The point is that you can never stand still," said Heins. "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."

Last week, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, was bad-mouthing Google's Android on the eve of the Samsung Galaxy S IV release. He said three-quarters of iPhone users say they're "very satisfied" with their experience while only half of Android users say the same, and that Android's biggest problem is its "plain and simple" fragmentation. Apple, on the other hand, is responsible for both the software and hardware of an iPhone -- hence, Schiller says, the experience is more seamless.

As for the Samsung Galaxy S IV itself, Schiller said the device will ship with an operating system that is already a year old, and that Google's Android updates come at a snail's speed.

"With their own data, only 16 percent of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system," said Schiller. "Over 50 percent are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference.

"And that extends to the news we are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is being rumored to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old. Customers will have to wait to get an update."

Clearly Apple is threatened by Android's smartphone dominance, and BlackBerry is likely hoping to be an innovator in the smartphone realm once again as well. BlackBerry launched its line of BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices in January of this year. At that time, it revealed the BlackBerry Z10 and the Q10 phones. The Z10 finally came to the U.S. March 12 as AT&T began its presale for $199 (with a two-year contract). The phone actually ships March 22.

Heins is optimistic about BB10 bringing BlackBerry back to life, as he was recently quoted saying that Z10 sales in Europe were "encouraging." He also said customers were switching from other platforms to BB10.

Another boost to BlackBerry could be a possible purchase of the company by Lenovo, which has been rumored. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told French financial newspaper Les Echos that it could eventually buy BlackBerry, but it needs to review such a decision first.

Source: The Australian Financial Review



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In reality
By crispbp04 on 3/18/2013 12:38:16 PM , Rating: 2
Apple doesn't need to innovate. They just need to stay ahead aesthetically, and be "good enough" on features. This would imply continued releases of iterative iOS and hardware updates, which should allow continued dominance of the mainstream consumer market. Being left behind is an exaggeration.

One issue Apple does need to address is iPhone users have no incentive to trade in their iPhone 4S. The phone is well built (my fiancé has two of them, one for work and one personal), users are familiar with it, and most of them are still in a contract. Even after contract expires, today there is very little reason for them to upgrade. The 4s texts, browses, makes calls, and runs all the apps smoothly. The 4s users are likely to eventually get another Apple phone, but there is no rush. This would point towards the explosive volume growth slowing down, but they will continue to grow volume. It's highly unlikely to see negative growth from them, even with android devices eating up the market.

Blackberry has a great device, but it's going to be a tough sell for people who are already engrossed into the iPhone ecosystem, and I think they are picking the wrong fight. They need to choose their battlegrounds carefully, and focus on keeping their existing customers while growing that business. They also should consider stabbing at Google in the consumer space.

For reference, I'm a WP8/Android user.




RE: In reality
By dubldwn on 3/18/2013 1:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The 4s users are likely to eventually get another Apple phone, but there is no rush.

Oh I can't wait to get rid of my 4S. The problem? The heavy and amazingly breakable glass back. Yeah it looks great...too bad I had to cover it in clear plastic. Terrible design decision imo.


RE: In reality
By crispbp04 on 3/18/2013 2:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it may have a fragile back, but functionally can you justify an upgrade? The overwhelming majority of iphoners use a case as the only means of personalization. I prefer to use a phone with no case.

When it comes to the durability, you would love something like the HTC 8x. I inadvertently dropped-kicked mine down a flight of concrete stairs and it only sustained a minor cosmetic scratch even with it's softer feeling polycarbonate shell. I thought for sure it was going to be in pieces.


RE: In reality
By Nortel on 3/18/2013 3:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
At the time, it was NOT heavy...the phone is made out of machined stainless steel and two plates of glass. It was designed to not be dropped; like buying a Rolex, smashing it on the ground and saying that it is garbage because it broke.


RE: In reality
By FeelLicks on 3/18/2013 1:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
Completely agree. My first touchscreen phone was the iPhone 4s and I have seen no reason to upgrade to any Android or later Apple phones thus far. The 4s does everything I need beautifully (and yes, this small screen is exactly the right size for me):

1. Phone/Texts
2. Music (with Bluetooth to connect to my Camry)
3. Browse web (once in a while)
4. Runs what few apps I use smoothly (imo.im, waze)
5. Takes pictures (I'm not a pro photographer; this is enough)
6. Battery life (I charge it once every 3 days)

I will probably stay on iPhone 4S for a long, long time. 99% of the "new" features on phones are gimmicks to me which I don't need. I do not need a huge screen (if I wanted to watch videos I'd do it on my desktop or HDTV) and I would actually prefer to have a small phone for portability in my jeans. I have played with various phones my coworkers have including many from HTC/Samsung and it is just not what I am looking for. I also don't really understand the expectations of the media and consumers of new phones to have world shattering new features. All I'm looking for in a future phone is build quality, portability, and battery life.


RE: In reality
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/2013 4:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
Apple is bleeding market share every year to the competition. And the ludicrous carrier deals they got in the past, and parts supplier deals, are not going to continue to happen at the margins they used to enjoy.

So to sit there and say "Apple is profitable, they can just do nothing and continue to be so" is a death kneel in the business world.

Also instead of making their cash reserves work for them, they are simply hoarding it while Samsung and Google and others continue to buy acquisitions and invest in R&D.

Just look at their stock plummet. It tells us that Apple was extremely over-valued (something we all knew) and that hedge fund managers knew it was time to get out.

quote:
Apple doesn't need to innovate.


Wow...I have no response to this at all. Apple isn't the electric company or an insurance provider. They don't sell a service you can't live without. They rely almost entirely on consumer devices, they damn sure DO need to innovate.

Do you know how many companies or products I can sit here and list that we thought were so intractable in their time, but now they aren't around anymore?


RE: In reality
By retrospooty on 3/18/2013 5:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
"So to sit there and say "Apple is profitable, they can just do nothing and continue to be so" is a death kneel in the business world."

Yup, just ask RIMM 2010. "Our customers dont want touchscreen phones, they want keyboards and fully functional integrated email". The need to innovate is always there, sometimes more urgent than others. The problem is, if you want until ssaless fall to start, its too late. You have to constantly push, and companies that Innovated and sat on their Laurels like Palm and RIMM, didnt survive. OK, RIMM barely survived, but its stock fell to 1/20th its previous value and marketshare went from well over 50% to what, 2-3%? You gotta keep pushing.


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton














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