Tell us a little bit about your current role at BlackBerry
I look after the local portfolio concepts. My job is to basically build the roadmap of devices, for the future to be as exciting as possible. And we've got some exciting things coming for sure. On the device side,
The key announcement in
The second thing is that we are very committed to concepts.
How many products to you expect to release this year?
I won't give you an exact number but you can see the spark in my eye. There are exciting things coming that's for sure. At the moment we've announced Z3 and Classic. John has also said that one of our core differentiators is a great keyboard so obviously this is something that we are working on. We're very committed to handsets and it's a very changing market place that's also very competitive. Very clearly here in
The market is getting more and more fragmented and in that context I'm quite excited to lead the team. Blackberry has got some major assets and we're not after every consumer in the market place. What makes the experience of BlackBerry is unique and the joy of owning a Blackberry is something special. And in that marketplace where everybody has gone quite broad I think owning a BlackBerry means something.
So what makes the BlackBerry special?
We are not only working on rebuilding the firm but also to communicate that experience of BlackBerry. We want to go back to our roots- keyboard is one of them. It started the productivity trend. Great battery life is another example of where we can win. But there are also a number of things that you remember your BlackBerry for- the productivity aspects are definitely the heart of it; there's a feeling that if we get this (the Classic) right we're gonna win back the heart of the customers.
We think there are other things that are also becoming the top agenda for consumers and enterprises. Security is one of them. In
Again we're not after every consumer- we're mainly after the professional. And the mobile professional is one looking after their security, their productivity and the core communication. And that whole element of collaboration and communicating that BBM is bringing. If you talk about the ownership of a BlackBerry and why it's so great, it's that collection of little things that makes the entire experience fun. We are still a different phone with a different experience.
You mentioned security- do you think that a BlackBerry is still the most secured phone?
I don't know if perfect security exists but what we know is the experts in security buy BlackBerry. Pretty much all, in fact 9 out of 10, ministries of defence and any big federal organisation; in
But that is changing- they are evaluating Android as well
I think all of them are simply weighing the pros and cons of moving to other solutions and when they consider the benefits of BlackBerry they see that a BlackBerry is really secure and they trust its solutions. Ten years ago when they made their first choice, we were probably the only choice. But even today 9 out of 10 are looking at renewing that choice with BlackBerry. We have to accept that we have a lot of competition that we did not have years ago so it's on us to improve the way we communicate and make great phones, so you don't have to compromise between having great security and a great phone.
Can you tell us about some of the innovations in the smartphone industry that are taking place?
There's no doubt that the technology curve has plateaued. In fact many reports are stating that people have been a bit underwhelmed by the industry and the technology available of late. So really on the whole experience front it's been less about giving key features and much more about productivity and communication. On the hardware I think there's a few good trends that I think we're very good at, and some of them I feel we need to continuously improve on. Things that I am observing are the quality of material and that people expect great phones that look nice and make a statement.
Beyond simple features like megapixels which, to a large degree, nobody really cares about, the key element is if your phone is giving you a sense that makes a statement about who you are. A professional who cares about getting things done; that you're proud to put your phone on the table and that it looks nice. So that sort of sentiment that that you own a piece of technology that makes a statement about you is very important.
Is there a phone out there that you think, I wish Blackberry had made that phone?
I'm a bit biased because I've been using BlackBerry for some time and I still believe that we make great phones. So I would pick a Blackberry because I'm passionately in love with BlackBerry. What is interesting though is some competitors have emerged better than others to really make progress on that experience. I think HTC is one of them. What I like about this industry is that there's a number of small players and we are one of them that are the true heartbeat of the industry by challenging the envelope.
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