BlackBerry CEO Announces Better Flagship BlackBerry 10 Smartphone For Holidays, Could Kill His Job And Sales

If there's one thing the CEO of a smartphone company should know, it's: never announce upcoming products before your current devices have shipped. Then you are only asking people to hold off buying your current product while they wait for your better product.

So it's very surprising that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins revealed to CNET that his company already has plans for another BlackBerry flagship smartphone in time for the holidays.

Thorsten Heins will probably get scolded by BlackBerry shareholders for making such a foolish announcement before its first BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the Z10 and Q10 have actually shipped. The BlackBerry Z10 has already been on sale across the pond. AT&T began offering the smartphone on March 22, while T-Mobile and Verizon are expected to launch the smartphone very soon. If Heins wants his company to not only sell smartphones but stay alive, he needs to keep his mouth shut about upcoming products.

Here's what the BlackBerry CEO told CNET during a sit-down interview:

"Very excited about another flagship smartphone that may hit during the holidays. There's one new product I'm really excited about, but I can't really share it."

That statement alone can have devastating effects on a company. A classic example of this was when former Palm CEO Carl Yankowski decided to pre-announce the successors to Palm's iconic Palm Vx PDA. After Yankowski pre-announced the m500 and m505 PDAs, sales of the Palm Vx plummeted because consumers knew a better model was coming, and put off purchasing existing models. This snafu cost Palm millions, and it also caused Yankowski to be ousted from the company for making such a critical mistake.

Heins also confirmed to CNET that BlackBerry would be launching a mid-range device later this year along with its unannounced upcoming flagship smartphone in time for the holidays. The BlackBerry CEO also told CNET that he expects the physical QWERTY-equipped BlackBerry Q10 to launch two or three months after the Z10 launches, but added he wanted to be cautious and not overcommit on the timing of the launch.

It seems he has enough knowledge to not promise an expected launch date for smartphones he and his company have already announced, but somewhere along the way he made a critical mistake by revealing that a better, unannounced BlackBerry 10 smartphone is already on the way.

It's because of mistakes like these that BlackBerry is in its current position, and if sales of the Z10 and Q10 dry up, don't be surprised to see a similar ousting of Heins. You never pre-announce a product before you've even shipped your current devices; it's just common sense and a CEO should know better.

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