BlackBerry chief ends BBC interview after India query (Lead)April 14th, 2011 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS
Toronto, April 14 (IANS) Research In Motion (RIM) founder Mike Lazaridis ordered a BBC reporter to end an interview after he was asked about his problems with India and Middle Eastern countries over security issues.
“That’s just not fair,” Lazaridis shot back at BBC Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones after one of his questions.
India and some Middle Eastern countries are seeking access to BlackBerry enterprise emails in view of national security issues.
Looking sideways, a visibly upset RIM boss said: “First of all, we have no security problem. We’ve got the most secure platform. We’ve just been singled out because we’re so successful around the world.”
When the reporter asked whether he could assume that BlackBerry has no issues with India and Middle East, Lazaridis said: “No, we don’t… we have just been singled because we are successful around the world. It is an iconic product, it used by businesses, it is used by celebrities, it is used by consumers, it is used by teenagers… we are just singled out just because of our success.”
When the reporter pressed him further on India, the BlackBerry chief said: “We are dealing with a lot of issues… We are doing our best to deal with the kind of expertise…”
The RIM co-CEO exploded when the reporter finally asked him whether he could “confidently tell” and assure BBC listeners in India and the Middle East whether they could continue using the BlackBerry smart phone without any problems in future.
“The interview is over. You can’t use that, Rory. It’s just not fair. This is a national security issue. Turn that off,” the BlackBerry boss told the reporter.
The BBC has posted the video of this portion of the interview on its website.
The BBC interview followed Lazaridis’s recent interview to the New York Times in which he slammed those writing off the BlackBerry maker as a “broken brand”.
Although after many deadlines, RIM has given India access to its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), it has remained noncommittal on allowing access to its encrypted corporate service.
India has more than a million BlackBerry users and RIM has set sights on the fast growing market as its share in the North American smart phone market shrinks.
The Canadian wireless giant, whose stock has slipped nearly 20 percent since last month after forecasts of a less-than-spectacular current quarter, is pinning its hopes on its PlayBook tablet due to hit markets in Canada and the US April 19.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)
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