The world got its first glimpse of Samsung’s new Galaxy S 4 last week, reigniting the Apple (AAPL) vs. Samsung (005930) argument as the two companies battle for the future of mobile. Apple seemed a bit on edge as it put up its new “What iPhone?” page, and now a third player is looking to strike while Apple is on defense: BlackBerry (BBRY). The struggling smartphone vendor might not pose the same threat to Apple that Samsung does in the near term, but CEO Thorsten Heins used a recent interview as an opportunity to let the world know that Apple’s iPhone has fallen behind rival platforms, including his new BlackBerry 10 OS.
“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,” Heins told Australian Financial Review in a recent interview. “The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old.”
He noted that Apple was largely responsible for the shift in the smartphone market to touchscreen devices. “They did a fantastic job with the user interface, they are a design icon,” he said. “There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that.”
But the problem, Heins notes, is that Apple rested on its laurels. “The point is that you can never stand still. It is true for us as well,” Henis said. “Launching BB10 just put us on the starting grid of the wider mobile computing grand prix, and now we need to win it.”