BlackBerry has responded to a Bloomberg report that highlighted Apple’s supposed outgrowth near the Canadian capital of Ottawa to support its autonomous car project. The news agency cited “people familiar with the matter” in claiming that Apple hired away some senior engineers who worked for the Waterloo-based tech company’s QNX automotive OS project. Apple is supposedly working on an autonomous car software package to sell to automakers by late next year.
“Apple’s moves are a blow to BlackBery, which often singles out QNX as a key source of future growth,” the article said. “The QNX unit maintains the operating system used in more than 60 million cars, mostly for ‘infotainment’ systems like Ford Motor Co.’s Sync.”
Bloomberg included a comment from BlackBerry CFO Marty Beard on the story, published on Tuesday.
“We’re in a global world of big technology companies fighting for talent,” Beard said. “It’s not surprising.”
Well, Beard took his thoughts further in an Inside BlackBerry blog post, poking holes in claims made by Bloomberg. To dispute the assessment that “Apple’s moves are a blow to BlackBerry,” Beard mentioned that the company has grown its QNX staff by 30 percent in two years with highly-certified talent making up a good portion of those hires.
Other points seem like technicalities, such as that QNX CEO Dan Dodge was hired away by Apple.
“Dan Dodge retired BlackBerry QNX. He was not hired away,” Beard wrote, emphasis his.
A slightly more serious infraction was an improper titling of a former employee. Derrick Keefe, identified as a senior engineer who spent a decade at QNX, was pointed to be a manager. In fact, of the 24 people that were claimed as Apple hires, “only three were kernel engineers” that didn’t work directly on QNX.
“The departure of these people has had no impact on our business.”
Beard wraps up his diss mix on Bloomberg by bringing up what Apple’s rumored move shows about BlackBerry (that it has the best engineering team in the industry) and Canada. The latter thing is kinda cool.