RIM CEO Thorsten Heins: “We Will Continue To Make The People That Use A BlackBerry Successful”
Blackberry’s future is the tech debate du jour, with pundits on either side promising either a BB10 renaissance or a slow-motion tailspin. While the jury was still out, we had a few moments to speak with RIM CEO Thorsten Heins about RIM’s way forward and where BB10 was going to put the company when it launches.
He was unsurprisingly forthright and more than accommodating even when we asked him the questions any BB fan would ask today: Why should I buy a new Blackberry device?
TC: In this interview we wanted to see what was in store for the consumer, what RIM is doing to maintain the energy that a lot of the BlackBerry users currently have, especially at work or in academia. What do you see as the best way forward for those folks?
Thorsten Heins: What we are doing right now is, if you look at the installed base, specifically in enterprise, corporate and consumers worldwide, there is still a lot of phones running BlackBerry 5, mainly in Asia-Pacific. So we are still working on a program to upgrade the installed base to BlackBerry 7, which from today’s view and perspective still is competitive, and I think an exciting platform.
So we are absolutely working on our consumer and enterprise base to get us to BlackBerry 7, which is a real upgraded experience compared to 5 and 6, and to a certain extent also 6. That’s the first thing we are doing.
Second is we are working on the BB10 platform to be launched in the first quarter next year. And this is not, as I said, based on a QWERTY device, which is a device type we dominate today. This will get us back into the full touch game, and this is where we will fight hard in the U.S. to regain market share and convince consumers that, well, BlackBerry is not just a great platform for productivity or for business people; it’s a great platform for consumers as well.