RIM boss Thorsten Heins hits back at BlackBerry-bashing NY Times article

BlackBerry World 2012 Thorsten HeinsRIM CEO Thorsten Heins must have had smoke coming out of his ears when he read a New York Times article on Monday entitled The BlackBerry as Black Sheep.

His company is struggling, for sure, but he’s hoping it can turn things around with the launch of its next-generation operating system, BlackBerry 10, early next year. Until then, he needs to hold on to his customers, and prevent the company’s image from being bashed about any more than it is right now. His heart will have sunk when he read the NY Times piece.

It pretty much ripped into the phone maker, interviewing users who had apparently become embarrassed about pulling their BlackBerry phone out of their bag. “I’m ashamed of it,” said one, who claimed to hide her device under her iPad for fear of being judged by clients.

Another said she wanted to “take a bat to it,” which, let’s be honest, seems like something of an overreaction when it comes to feelings about a mobile device. There were a few favorable words towards the end of the piece from a BlackBerry owner called Mr. Fenton who said he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about when it came to the iPhone, but in case the reader might start to think that perhaps RIM’s phones weren’t so bad after all, the article finished off with someone called Mr. Mindel laying the boot in, saying, “I’m considering removing my BlackBerry battery, pouring in cement, and using the BlackBerry as an actual paperweight.” You get the picture. 

So imagine Heins in his office earlier this week, NY Times in hand, reading this article. Of course he wasn’t going to let this go without saying something. He hammered out a response and on Wednesday the newspaper published it.

In his letter, Heins accused the publication of lacking “the balance your readers expect,” before going on to explain that carriers and partners around the world have recently told him “there are millions of BlackBerry fans out there who not only find great value in their device, but also pride in being a BlackBerry owner.”

He says that he takes reports of dissatisfaction among BlackBerry users very seriously, adding that he was encouraged by the supportive comments received in response to the NY Times article.

After trotting out a couple of stats, Heins ends his letter confirming that RIM is on track to deliver BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013, and offers thanks to “the customers who have remained loyal to the BlackBerry platform.” He also says RIM is looking forward to “winning back many who have left.”

Heins is all too aware that having nothing to show for at least another 10 weeks gives BlackBerry bashers ample time to keep on bashing, and that what RIM must do is keep current users on board while trying to put a positive spin on a very difficult situation. Of course, there will be those who say RIM has done a decent job of beating itself up in recent years with various PR blunders and missteps, but Heins is steering the ship now and is doing everything in his power to save the company from collapse.


Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.

Blackout to go? Call of Duty: Mobile is coming this summer

Activision and Tencent have partnered to create Call of Duty: Mobile, a free-to-play version of the popular shooter franchise that will be available on iOS and Android devices this summer.