BlackBerry chief Heins blames Android for undermining Samsung security

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BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO Thorsten Heins contends rival smartphone manufacturer Samsung Electronics will never be able to offer users top-grade mobile device security because of the open-source foundations of the Android mobile operating system.

Thorsten Heins

Thorsten Heins

In an interview with CNet, Heins said Android's open-source origins make the platform substantially more susceptible to malware threats than the new BlackBerry 10, which he said was built from the ground up to deliver a secure user experience. "You don't know how many keys you've given to the main door of your house because it's open software," Heins said in reference to Android. "So what are you trying to do? You're locking the windows."

Heins acknowledged he could not ignore the challenge posed by Samsung, the world's top smartphone maker in terms of market share, and said Samsung's security is "good enough" to allow the company to win contracts from businesses with more liberal bring-your-own-device policies in place. At the same time, Heins believes BlackBerry 10 will become a major player in the BYOD space, stating "I see this as an opportunity for us to address a larger segment in enterprise than what we had before, which was regulated industries and top-notch security."

Heins' criticism of Android follows days after the executive took a potshot at Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS user interface, saying "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. 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. The user interface on the iPhone, with all due respect for what this invention was all about, is now five years old."

Heins is not the only voice criticizing Android's security failings, of course. Earlier this month, Apple Senior President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller called out the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) platform following a report that Android is to blame for the vast majority of all mobile malware threats identified in 2012. "Be safe out there" Schiller tweeted, linking to a study from digital security firm F-Secure that found 79 percent of all malware discovered last year targets Android devices, up from 66 percent the previous year.

For more:
- read this CNet article

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