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BlackBerry CEO: Apple’s OS is out of date

Allan Swann
March 18, 2013

Ahead of BlackBerry 10’s launch in the US, CEO Thorsten Heins has been throwing some trash talk at Apple, claiming that its operating system, iOS is about five years out of date.

Heins was being interviewed by the Australian Financial Review, where he was plugging BlackBerry’s BB10 app store and devices. Yet as is becoming the industry norm, took the time to poke at Apple’s lethargy and to suggest that it is perhaps not innovating as it once did.

“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. There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that,” Mr Heins told AFR.

“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.”

Its hard not to argue after the botched launch of iOS 6 (which saw the forced inclusion of the failed Apple Maps, and a host of carrier bugs) – while offering little that was new (other than Facebook integration) for users. Apple’s software still struggles with UI multi-tasking, something Heins has pushed as a key feature from BB10, which allows you to ‘peek‘ between applications.

It is a make or break moment for BlackBerry (formerly RIM), as its BB10 platform has been in development for nearly three years – and has been repeatedly delayed. It finally launched in the UK in February with the Z10 smartphone (see What Mobile’s review here). Like Nokia, BlackBerry is attempting to develop its own product eco-system – Heins claims there are now 100,000 dedicated BB10 apps, including the big names such as Facebook, Foursquare and Netflix. It is still a far cry from Apple’s offering, which boasts close to a million.

Already 2013 looks like it will be a nervy year, as both Apple and HTC bosses lashed out at Samsung in the last week (Samsung announced its new Galaxy S4 flagship smartphone on Thursday) – in uncharacteristic fashion, a sign of the strain all these companies are feeling as Samsung’s marketshare continues to grow.

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