BlackBerry Product Manager Too Terrified And Superstitious To Say The Word ‘iPhone’

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What IS that thing on the left?
What IS that thing on the left?

RIM’s European managing director, Stephen Barnes, was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 this morning about the new BlackBerry 10 system and phones coming down the line.

The host of the interview repeatedly asks direct, clear questions about what RIM has learned from Apple’s iPhone.

Barnes hilariously refuses to even acknowledge the word iPhone, let alone that RIM has obviously taken several pages from Apple’s smartphone book. Even, worse, he sounds scared.

Here’s a short transcript of the first minute or so of the interview. You can find an embed of the audio and a short YouTube clip of a different interview with Barnes on The Verge.

BBC Interviewer: What have you learned from Apple?

Stephen Barnes: So, BlackBerry is a unique proposition in terms of the proposition we’ve got. We’ve got round about 7 – 8 million customers who love the BlackBerry experience, and we’re taking the essence of that experience and moving it forward.

Have you learned anything from the iPhone?

This market is a great market. There’s a change–

I’m just wondering, you know, technologically. It’s a pretty straight question: have you?

So, so so. BlackBerry was one of the inventors of the smartphone market. You know, we helped shape the smartphone market for what it is today. We’re at the bridge of a new transformation where we see it going from mobile communications to this mobile computing world. And we saw that our existing BlackBerries would not give us the power to drive this new market.

Ok, but obviously the iPhone is your main competitor. You all learn from each other. What have you learned from the iPhone?

The key focus with the BlackBerry 10 is to deliver a new unique user experience.

So you haven’t learned anything from the iPhone you’re saying.

It just continues from there, with the hosts asking pointed questions, using the word iPhone, and even going so far as to accuse Barnes of reading from a press release. The poor man can’t manage to say, ‘iPhone,’ though, staying agonizingly on message throughout.

Poor RIM–a head that far buried in the sand is in no place to capture an already matured market, no matter how great the technology or current customer base.

Source: The Verge