BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins is defending a recent decision to not allow an upgrade to the company’s BlackBerry 10 operating system by admitting the device was too underpowered, as reports surface the company has fired its marketing boss.
In an interview with CrackBerry following the company’s annual general meeting, Heins makes the startling revelation that a BlackBerry 10 operating system upgrade for the PlayBook tablet would have been a “crappy product”.
Heins says it was a tough decision to make: “I could have done it, but you would have loads of comments on your site – ‘how can Thorsten allow such a crappy product to be launched?'”
“It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make because I knew I would break a commitment, but I also made a commitment to quality before that.
“I can’t take the hardware back and provide them with 2 GB hardware. I can’t exchange the part – there’s no way to do this… What I did, I did because I want [users] to have a quality experience with BlackBerry 10.”
The company’s decision not to update its tablet operating systems has upset many users, and comes after a bizarre interview in late April in which Heins said he saw no long-term future for tablet devices.
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model,” Heins said at the time.
The upgrade cancellation is the latest in a string of bad news stories for the company.
Recently released results for the fiscal first quarter showed the Canadian smartphone pioneer lost $US84 million for the quarter, despite shipping 6.8 million smartphones and increasing revenues to $US3.1 billion, up from 2.8 billion a year earlier.
During the meeting, shareholders approved a motion to officially change the company’s name from Research in Motion to BlackBerry, a move first announced in January.
Meanwhile, PC Mag has confirmed a report in The Wall Street Journal that the company has fired its US marketing boss, Richard Piasentin.