BlackBerry CEO slams iPhone, says Apple innovation is stagnant

With the long-awaited BlackBerry Z10 set to go on sale in the US later this week, the company's CEO has expressed confidence that the next-gen device can hold its own against the iPhone.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins thinks users are ready for something new after looking at an essentially unchanged iPhone user interface for the past five years. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review ahead of the Z10's launch down under, Heins said Apple has paved the way for other touch devices, but failed to innovate in recent years, leaving the iPhone outdated.

"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," Heins said.

"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," he continued. "The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old."

So what makes the Z10 so much better than the iPhone, in Heins's point of view? For one, the ability to multi-task, or run multiple apps at once, he told the news outlet.

But the Waterloo, Ontario-based phone manufacturer is still playing catch up to Apple and Google's Android when it comes to one important area - apps. Heins said he expects 100,000 apps to be available for the Z10 at launch, well below the number currently available in Apple's App Store and Google Play.

The Z10 is the first smartphone to launch with the re-designed BlackBerry 10 operating system. It's a slab-style, touch-based device and features a 4.2in display with 356ppi. It comes with a slew of new features, including Screen Share and BlackBerry Hub, which acts as a central location for emails and conversations.

For more, see our spec comparisons with the iPhone 5, Google Nexus 4, and the Nokia Lumia 920.