The CEO of smartphone pioneer Blackberry said today that rival platform Android is a “temporary fad” and “not a serious threat” to Blackberry’s business.
In an interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail, Thorsten Heins claimed that Google’s dominant mobile OS is “clearly in a bubble” and its market share will sink to “close to zero” within five years.
“I just don’t know what all the fuss is about,” Heins said when asked about Android. “Sure, they have lots of users and a huge app market. But the quality of those users is pretty low.
“Your typical Blackberry buyer is a high-powered corporate executive with a nice car, a classy toupée and plenty of disposable income.
“Meanwhile, your average Android user is some teenage kid who’s hopped up on dope and can’t afford an iPhone. When your business model relies on such marginal consumers, you’re in trouble.”
Once the dominant player in smartphones, Blackberry has seen its market share erode in recent years as Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system have used multi-touch interfaces and large app stores to dominate the space.
The company has undergone significant financial turmoil, and has seen the departure of its two founders. Despite these challenges, Heins remains super optimistic about its chances versus the world’s most popular mobile OS.
“I just don’t see them as a serious threat.,” he continues, “Sure people love Android now, but its just like Palm Pilots in the 90s, or netbooks in the 2000s – nothing but a temporary fad.
“They started out well. Their first phones were really great. But Google’s failed to innovate and keep up with the latest technology – and now their products are old and stale.”
Asked why Android continued to sell, Heins said it was only a matter of time before its success in the marketplace will falter.
“Android’s clearly in a bubble,” he argued, “and once people realize how superior the new Blackberry platform is, its market share will drop down to something close to zero.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Android’s will go the way of Symbian or Web O/S. And like Nokia and Palm before it, Google’s gonna be in a world of trouble when the party ends.”
A former Siemens executive, Heins was promoted to CEO in January 2012 with the mission of restoring the embattled company’s former glory. He recently said that tablet devices such as Apple’s iPad and Google’s Nexus 7 were “just a fad.”