Blackberry boss: BB10 launch not "perfect"

Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins has admitted the company’s rollout of Blackberry 10 devices was flawed.

The phones were viewed as Blackberry’s last great hope, but they faltered. As the company struggles to remain relevant in the highly competitive smartphone market, the last thing it needed was a bad launch and that is exactly what it got with the Z10.

To be fair to Blackberry, anything it did was destined to be overshadowed by Samsung, Apple and the rest of the gang, and to be fair to Heins, he inherited a hell of a mess to clean up.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Heins was told by a disgruntled shareholder that the rollout of the latest phones was nothing short of a disaster. Heins retorted: “Were we perfect at the launch? Probably not. Was it a disaster? I don’t think so.”

Heins and Blackberry generated an enormous amount of publicity for the Z10 launch but the national papers largely compared it to the iPhone.

Although the phones were an improvement over Blackberry’s previous generations and grabbed positive reviews, they simply didn’t sell well. According to the New York Times, Blackberry shipped about 2.7 million BB10 devices since the launch, about a million short of analyst expectations.

Needless to say the numbers pale in comparison with Samsung or Apple sales. Samsung managed to ship 20 million Galaxy S4s in less than two months.