Smack-Talkers BlackBerry CEO, Chinese Stars Gang Up on Apple

In today’s mobile/social roundup: BlackBerry CEO calls Apple UI old; Chinese celebrities paid to bash Apple; Apple-Android war sparked with new Apple page; Apple sued by THX for .speakers used in Apple devices; and Facebook blocks another app.

BlackBerry CEO calls iPhone UI old

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins discussed what he plans for the company’s future in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.  But what caught most attention was him calling Apple’s iPhone user interface “old.”

“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,” Heins said. “The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old.”

Heins stated that Apple should change it up to keep consumers happy and interested but took a step back before hordes of fanbois knocked some sense into him.

“Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market,” he said. “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.”

Chinese celebrities paid to bash Apple

News came out in China that Apple has been replacing iPhones brought in for repairs with refurbished iPhones instead of fixing or replacing them with new iPhones.  This outraged Chinese consumers which apparently led to Chinese celebrities bashing the Cupertino company in China’s version of Twitter, Sina Wiebo.

“#315isLive# Wow, Apple has so many tricks in its after-sales services,” Peter Ho, a Taiwanese-American singer/movie star and spokesperson for Samsung Galaxy posted.  “As an Apple fan, I’m hurt. You think this would be acceptable to Steve Jobs? Or to those young people who sold their kidneys [to buy iPads]? It’s really true that big chains treat customers poorly. Post around 8:20.”

Ho stated that he wasn’t the one who posted the message, as he lost his phone.  The report also stated that the 820 Party is asking Chinese celebrities to air their thoughts on Apple, which meant that it wants the celebrities to talk smack about Apple.  And the celebrities are said to be getting paid for their harsh words.

Apple-Android war sparked with new Apple page

Before Samsung’s big Unpacked event last week, Apple’s Phil Schiller had some harsh words for Android, stating that these devices were just given as “a free replacement for a feature phone” but doesn’t deliver the iPhone experience.

And things only got worse after Samsung’s event, where the Galaxy SIV launched.  Apple introduced a new page on its site that gives people reasons why the iPhone has been the top choice for consumers.  The page brags of its eight J.D. Power and Associates awards for satisfaction, and lists the features of the iPhone below.

Is it just me, or do these phone makers have a self-image complex?

Apple sued by THX for speakers in Apple devices

THX, the surround-sound technology developed by by famed filmaker George Lucas, filed a lawsuit against Apple for infringing and continuing to infringe it  patent for “Narrow profile speaker configurations and systems,” which describes “methods to effectively enhance sound quality in compact speaker arrangements integrated into consumer electronics like computers and televisions.”

THX claims that Apple’s actions have caused them monetary damages and irreparable harm.  The company is asking royalties or damages to make up for the inflicted damages.

Facebook blocks another app

Facebook is not keen on sharing, especially with competitors.  The social network recently cut off Twitter’s Vine and Voxer from its API to allow users to easily find friends, and the Facebook-owned Instagram terminated its support for Twitter last year, which prevented users from sharing Instagram photos on Twitter.

Now, MessageMe’s getting the cold shoulder.  Facebook has allegedly blocked MessageMe’s access to Facebook Friend Graph, much like what it did with Vine and Voxer.  According to a report from TechCrunch, Facebook doesn’t like the fact that MessageMe has too much in common with its own platform.

For more daily news recaps, see this morning’s clip from our daily NewsDesk show with Kristin Feledy: