6 Amazingly Arrogant Quotes From Tech Execs

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You might remember BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins’ comment from earlier this week claiming that the tablet industry will be doomed in five years. This, like other statements from tech CEOs throughout the years, makes absolutely no sense. In fact, a report from the IDC directly contradicted Heins, proving that the tablet industry is continuing to surge.

“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” he said to Bloomberg. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Soon after, Heins’ comments went from ignorant to arrogant.

“In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing—that’s what we’re aiming for,” he said. “I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat.”

Heins is far from being the first tech industry CEO to utter conceited and somewhat delusional remarks to the media. Here’s a roundup of six blatantly arrogant quotes from tech company leaders over the years.

Android is Just a Stolen iPhone

"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank to right this wrong," late Apple CEO Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson. “I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

According to Isaacson, Jobs was furious in 2010 when HTC unveiled an Android phone that supposedly included features similar to the iPhone. He even accused Google of committing “grand theft." I'll bet that's exactly how Xerox felt back in the '80s when Apple jacked its PARC GUI to use on the Macintosh. It doesn't feel very good, does it? 

More: 10 Ways Android Beats the iPhone 5


Number One Plus?

"In the upcoming PC world, with fewer ways of differentiating HP’s products from our competitors, we became number one," HP’s European chief Eric Cador said in Cannes in 2011. “In the tablet world, we’re going to become better than number one. We call it number one plus.”

It’s been nearly two years since HP launched its TouchPad tablet -- and killed it after 57 days -- and the company is nowhere near the number one spot. Apple's iPad still sits at the top of the slate industry owning 39.6 percent of the market share. In IDC’s most recent statistics, HP didn’t even achieve an honorable mention but instead was grouped into the “Other” category.

More: 5 Best HP Laptops

No One Wants an iPhone

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said back in 2007.

Talk about delusional. Apple may be enduring some tough times as of late, but the iPhone still accounts for 17.9 percent of the handset market, second to Samsung which comprises 33 percent of the smartphone space. And what about Windows Phone, you ask? Microsoft's mobile platform only accounts for 5.6 percent of the smartphone market according to statistics from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

More: 25 Best iPhone 5 Apps

BlackBerry is a ‘Quantum Leap’ Over the iPhone and Android

"I think you’ll just be amazed at how it’s a quantum leap over anything that’s out there," former BlackBerry CEO Jim Balsillie said in 2010 in reference to BlackBerry 6.

In reality, the OS update just added a simpler UI, social integration, an improved browser, and other features you would find on any iOS or Android device of that time.

More: 10 Best Apps for BlackBerry 10

 Owning an iPhone is ‘Embarrassing’

"Oh, how embarrassing!" That was Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s response to a Finnish talk show host who whipped out an iPhone during their interview. Elop then proceeded to take the host's iPhone and throw it off camera. 

What’s more embarrassing? How about Nokia's measly 4.9 percent share of the smartphone market from 2012? As a point of comparison, Apple and Samsung accounted for 19.1 percent and 30.3 percent respectively. 

More: Top 10 iPhone Alternatives

Google Isn’t Real

“Google’s not a real company. It’s a house of cards,” Current Microsoft CEO Ballmer said in 2004 when former engineer Mark Lucovsky left Microsoft to work at Google.

Sure Steve, whatever you say. Google isn’t real. Neither is the fact that Windows 8 may have contributed to the biggest PC sales slump in 19 years…

More: Top 10 Tablets

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Author Bio
Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco, LAPTOP Staff Writer
Lisa has been reporting on all things mobile for Laptopmag.com since early 2013. When she’s not reviewing gadgets, she’s usually browsing patent databases or interviewing experts to track down the hottest tech trends before they even happen. Lisa holds a B.A. in Journalism from SUNY Purchase and has contributed to The International Business Times, The New York Daily News and Guitar World Magazine.
Lisa Eadicicco, LAPTOP Staff Writer on
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1 comment
  • Giovanni Says:

    I don't have a clue on the specific subject, but I'd just like to observe that as of now we are all just as ignorant as he is about what will happen in five years' time. The fact that the market continues to surge *a week on* doesn't say much about the remaining 5*52-1 weeks. Hence IMHO characterizing him as ignorant suffers from the very same ignorance. Why couldn't he be right?