BlackBerry CEO Heins thinks Apple's UI is dated

Summary:The UI on the Apple iPhone looks about the same as it did six years ago, while the new BlackBerry 10 UI is fresh. The question is, will consumers care and want a new UI experience?

As BlackBerry continues to launch its Z10 running BlackBerry 10 around the world, the folks at The Australian Financial Review talked with CEO Thorsten Heins. He said that Apple's UI is now outdated, and that BlackBerry's survival doesn't rest on just the success of the Z10 and Q10.

I am enjoying the BlackBerry 10 experience on the Z10 and think this device and the Q10 are quite appealing for current BlackBerry owners. However, I am not convinced that current satisfied Android and iOS owners will find any compelling reason to switch. If BlackBerry can just keep its existing user base on BlackBerry, that should give it a decent share of the smartphone market and help it continue rather successfully.

I agree that the iPhone UI is dated, which is one reason I use Android and Windows Phone as well. However, it is quite easy now to jailbreak your iPhone and customize the UI to be even more functional.

The iPhone UI may look about the same as it did six years ago when it launched, but Apple still sells millions of each new device, often selling out on the opening weekend. Apple marketing is extremely successful, and even though other devices have better hardware and user interfaces, iPhone fans continue to purchase updated models. If something is working well for you, then there may not be much of a reason to change, so we'll have to see what Apple does with its next iteration of iOS.

One of the reasons people buy the iPhone is that most all new apps come to iOS first. Even though others are achieving a high number of apps in their stores, it isn't all about the numbers. Apps for BlackBerry 10 are released regularly, and Heins stated that it will have over 100,000 when the Z10 launches in the US this month. However, many key apps are still missing.

It's understandable that companies try to convince people that their device/OS is better than others, but it takes more than statements from CEOs to succeed. BlackBerry appears to be doing a good job of marketing its new OS, and I look forward to seeing how it is perceived in the US when the Z10 finally launches later this month.

Given that many Android and Windows Phone devices launch with displays larger than 4.5 inches, I think the BlackBerry Z10 offers something in the iPhone 5 size range that people may find desirable. The iPhone 5 and BlackBerry Z10 are able to be used quite easily with a single hand and not everyone wants a monster phone.

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Topics: Mobility, Apple, BlackBerry, Smartphones


Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 2... Full Bio

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