Tech News: BlackBerry CEO Says iPhone Is Yesterday's News

By Sterling Wong  MAR 18, 2013 3:05 PM

Plus, T-Mobile customers can soon get access to 4G LTE speeds, and AT&T beefs up its Mobile Share data plans.

 


BlackBerry CEO Disses the iPhone While Promoting the BlackBerry Z10 in Australia

While the jury’s still out on whether the new BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) 10 devices will restore the Canadian company to its former glory, its CEO, Thorsten Heins, is certainly not afraid of critiquing other smartphone makers, even inviting possible schadenfreude by saying that the iPhone’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) better days are behind it.
 
Commenting to the Australian Financial Review on how rivals like Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) have caught up with Apple, Heins first praised the Tim Cook-led company, saying, “Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market ... They did a fantastic job with the user interface, they are a design icon. There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that.”
 
The BlackBerry Z10 The BlackBerry Z10
However, Heins then added that Apple had failed to keep up with the rapid changes in the technology industry. “History repeats itself again, I guess ... 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. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old,” he said.
 
To Heins, the new BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 are superior to the outdated iPhone in that they can run multiple apps simultaneously, which can potentially improve productivity.
 
Still, Heins acknowledges that there is work to be done for BlackBerry. “The point is that you can never stand still. It is true for us as well. Launching BB10 just put us on the starting grid of the wider mobile computing Grand Prix, and now we need to win it,” he said.
 
T-Mobile to Launch 4G LTE Network By End of March
 
After a long wait, T-Mobile (ETR:DTE) is ready to roll out its 4G LTE network in late March. The company says that its network will cover up to 100 million customers by mid-2013, and 200 million by the end of 2013.
 
For now, however, the only LTE-ready device on T-Mobile’s network is the Samsung Galaxy Note II, though the upcoming BlackBerry Z10 and Galaxy S4 will be LTE-capable as well.
 
Currently, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) has the US’s largest LTE network, covering over 275 million people, with AT&T (NYSE:T) and Sprint (NYSE:S) trailing far behind. Even with a smaller LTE footprint, however, T-Mobile argues that its HSPA+42 network is speedy enough to satisfy the demands of its customers.
 
AT&T Introduces Updated Mobile Share Plans for Data-Hungry Customers

Craving more data? AT&T’s got you covered. The nation’s largest wireless carrier is introducing new 30GB, 40GB, and 50GB monthly Mobile Share plans, when the largest data offering before was 20GB.
 
Geared primarily towards business customers, the new plans won’t come cheap. The 30GB plan will cost $300 each month, while the 40GB and 50GB options are priced at $400 and $500 respectively. To add an additional smartphone to each plan, you have to pay $30 and if you go over the data limit, you’ll have to pay $15 for each exceeded GB.
 
Businesses can connect up to 15 devices for the 30GB plan, 20 for the 40GB plan, and 25 for the 50 GB plan.
 
Microsoft to End Windows 8 Support in July 2014
 
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced the end dates for its support of Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8. The company will discontinue support for Windows Phone 7.8 operating system on September 9, 2014, while Windows Phone 8 will be updated though July 8, 2014.
 
The end dates are based on an 18-month life cycle for the platforms from the day they were introduced. Windows Phone users should not panic, though. Mobile operating system companies, including Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), routinely update their software annually, so current Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 users should be able to upgrade to the next version of Windows Phone when it is made available.
 
According to The Verge, Microsoft plans to introduce its next Windows Phone, assigned a code name of "Blue," the next holiday season.

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Twitter: @sterlingwong

Disclosure: Minyanville has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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