BlackBerry CEO Heins thinks Apple's UI is dated

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 He said that Apple's UI is now outdated, and that BlackBerry's survival doesn't rest on just the success of the Z10 and Q10.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

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  • A good job marketing the new OS?

    On your subway ride to work, ask 10 people what the new BB phone or OS is I doubt any could tell you.

    Not launching first in the US is a major fail.

    The sea of icons UI which BB invented and iphone/droid copied, BB can hardly swiped at apple, BB is copying WP8 to a point.
    • He's not wrong but not exactly right

      Apple's UI is outdated old and restrictive.
      But then again so is BB, as companies shy away from using RIM and the new interface pales when compared to WP8.
      The 2 big players in the future: Droid and WP8.
      They simply have the innovation these days with actual function. Apple is still relying on "style" which is getting old in a hurry.
      • WP8 is voted best mobile OS,2817,2416521,00.asp


        All eyes may be on Apple and Google these days, but Microsoft has delivered a mobile platform--Windows Phone 8, that bests both of those companies in user satisfaction. It delivers to its users on nearly every aspect of the mobile phone experience."

        Kudos to Microsoft.


        CARRIER: AT&T

        Nokia (for Windows Phone 8 devices)
        Nokia gambled on the Windows Phone platform, and so far it's paying off for customers. It delivered, by far, the best satisfaction ratings in our survey."

        Kudos Nokia.
        • As voted on by the readers of PC Magazine! What a shocker!

          Seriously Toddy!! It's right there in the header of the story.. "Find out which manufacturers and carriers your fellow PCMag readers think provide the most satisfying mobile service and products" your fellow PCMag readers!

          Look, it's great that Win8 scored the #1 spot...but...seriously, the sample was taken from the readership of PC Magazine. Would you accept a similar survey showing that iOS won if it was the readers of MacWorld that was surveyed?

          So...yes...kudos...any other result would have been pretty tragic. But, even with this home field advantage Win8 only won by a hair! Win8 scored 9.0 and iOS 8.6 with Android at 8.1. That can't be too reassuring.
          • Why is it a shock?

            It isn't Windows PC Magazine, it is PC Magazine, and macs are PCs (they also review cameras and TVs so it is probably more fair to say that they are a generic electronics site).


            The macbook pro was an editor's choice and actually beat every single other laptop in the top 10 (it had 4.5 / 5, all the rest got 4 / 5).

            When was the last time macworld gave a non mac PC an editors choice? Does macworld even review non macs?

            So immediately, your whole post has been countered.

            But, let's pretend that the editors and even the readers have a bias. This wasn't a poll where they counted votes, this was a survey where they averaged ratings. Why would a PC Magazine reading Lumia owner like their Lumia more than a macworld Lumia owner would? Why would a PC Magazine reading iphone owner like their iphone less than a macworld iphone owner?

            Ultimately, you show that it is inconceivable that people who own WP8 phones actually like their phones more, on average, than iphone owners. Why is that SO beyond the realm of possibility that the only way this result could happen is if there was some big anti-apple conspiracy? PC Magazine didn't suggest that Lumia was outselling iphone, only that WP8 owners like their phones more than iphone owners do. I'm not sure why this should threaten you so much, unless the suggestion that Lumia owners like their phones somehow hurts your feelings? That would be strange.

            Or, you are being paid by apple to counter any and all "bad" news that crops up anywhere in the blogosphere. Actually, that makes a lot more sense.
          • Oh very funny..

            We both know the difference between your day job and mine. The frequency and delightfully transparent consistency of message of your posts says enough on that.

            I simply suggested one interpretation of the data. PC Mag may be trying to recast itself as a broad consumer electronics publication, but its history is very clear. As a result of that history it may be that the readership may not be representative of smart phone users as a whole. But, I forgot, in your world only those surveys that support your viewpoint and those of your employer are unbiased. All others...biased!! Silly me.
    • @eversso2

      "Not launching first in the US is a major fail......."

      In your opinion,

      but then you probably haven't realized your not the centre of the universe yet........
    • As in most situations...

      ...people who are hunting for fault and shortcomings will find them.

      Is iOS outdated? Is it actually and really outdated in some significant way that interferes in at least SOME notable way with the way a modern smartphone UI should work?

      I think Apple would want to be really sure it was some kind of a problem before making some significant changes, and for at least two very good reasons.

      Firstly, the armchair critics are likely going to say that any change of significance is a downfall for Apple because the famous UI that iOS is famous for is now something new that the public dosnt know as well and probably will not like, according to the armchair critics that is.

      Secondly, any change of significance is going to be meticulously scanned for any similarities in look or operation of other OS's by the posting pundits around here in particular, and Apple will be dragged around by their ear publicly by them with claims of copy cat and follow the leader for whatever changes they do make that bare any similarities to any other OS in even remote ways.

      And there are thirdly and fourthly reasons as well. A new UI dosnt necessarily make everything better easily. It can be quite difficult at times to imagine exactly how one goes about replacing what has been a very successful UI with one that’s even better and creates absolutely no new issues in the process. Apple went to court with claims that their UI had been copied to some degree, heaven forbid they get accused of doing anything remotely similar in any upcoming UI alteration.

      How many really noteworthy efficient and clever different ways are there of accomplishing the same functions on a tiny little touch screen device like a smartphone to begin with? At least before you end up simply trading off with one step forward and two steps back. It’s a hazard.

      So lets all pick on Apple and iOS today. Everyone seems to get their absurd turn. Is iOS really outdated? I doubt it. Its just getting old, not worse.
    • Blackberry didn't make it

      The sea of icons has been used since the early days of Windows and the graphical user interface. PDAs used it before smartphones. It really is time for a change in my book.
    • bigger major fail: not marketing to corporate users

      I am in an AT&T "premier" program, which means that my employer obtains 15% discounts for their employees because we're encouraged to use our smartphones at work, but my employer doesn't want to pay our smartphone bills. (They used to but got cheap after the crash of '08)

      When I tried to pre-order the Z10, AT&T told me that because I was in the premier program I would have to wait until later, unless I wanted a new standard wireless account with no discount.

      Incredulous, I asked them why they would penalize corporate customers, who would after all be the most likely potential clients for this, but all I got was pasted responses in an customer disservice IM chat.

      I emailed Blackberry and received an equally scripted and nonsensical response.

      I have an iPhone 4 unlocked and out of contract and wanted to switch but this incident has given me pause, because I really don't think BB will be around long with business practices like this...
  • Stating the obvious

    In other news, water is wet.

    ios UI was dated in 2007. Grids of icons take me back to Windows 3.1.

    One day, apple will innovate something. There is a first time for everything.
    • iOS Grids of icons -> Lotus Notes!


      Now where did I leave that icon?
      Schoolboy Bob
      • The 1980s called...

        they want their desktop back.

        p.s. Also, their break dancers.
        Arm A. Geddon
        • Oh Oh. the 1990s.

          Arm A. Geddon
        • Let's follow the logic then

          If Windows 8 is a copy of ios from 2007 and also a copy of AOL from the 90s


          ios is a copy of AOL from the 90s.

          Too funny.
          • toddbottom3

            I don't need any drugs. You "crack" me up witrh most of your posts. They remind me of the song from the Talking Heads, "Once In A Lifetime."


            Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it was...
            Arm A. Geddon
          • You and Tigertank have the same mentor

            When you are caught, dodge, weave, distract.

            Which would you like to debate?
            1. Windows 8 is a copy of ios from 2007.
            2. Windows 8 is a copy of AOL from the 80s (or 90s, whatever).
            3. ios is a copy of AOL from the 80s / 90s.
          • Thanks

            Arm A. Geddon,

            Thanks for the good laugh. Unbelievably how many words can an clip replace. :)
          • Too Funny

            Spot on ..