BlackBerry Exec Corrects Bloomberg Story on Apple’s Car Plans

Marty Beard, Chief Operating Officer at BlackBerry, has posted on the Inside BlackBerry blog, regarding a recent Bloomberg story which cited Apple hiring away QNX engineers to work on their car plans in Canada. His response–titled “Bloomberg Corrected”–was published because “once again the tech hype cycle is getting ahead of reality.”

When Bloomberg said “Apple’s moves are a blow to BlackBerry, which often singles out QNX as a key source of future growth,” Beard took issue with this.

He went on to reply “Hardly! BlackBerry QNX has been a leading software system in automotive for more than 20 years,” adding their software is in over 60 million vehicles from over 40 automobile OEMs. The QNX team, he says, has grown in size by 30% in the past two years.

There are three other issues Beard tries to debunk from the Bloomberg article, which he said were false:

  • “Dan Dodge retired from BlackBerry QNX. He was not hired away.”
  • “Derrick Keefe was a manager; not a senior engineer.”
  • 24 people left QNX to Apple—which is true—but “only three were kernel engineers.”

Beard goes on to conclude reports of Apple supposedly moving into Ottawa for R&D just “simply reinforces what we have always known: We have the best embedded software and security engineers in the world, and Canada is pretty great!”

The BlackBerry executive says their elite engineers come to QNX and choose to stay because they “offer some of the most challenging projects in the industry.”

However, it doesn’t mean this is always the case, since he did confirm the departure of numerous employees to Apple. While Beard appears to be defending QNX, the whole piece seems unnecessary; clearly he has BlackBerry pride.

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