Want More Touch Screen Users? Ask a Woman: Fiorina

Blackberry Bold
Source: blackberry.com
Blackberry Bold

While discussing the impact of Research in Motion’s first quarter warning, which caused its share price to tank after-hours on Tuesday, formerHewlett-PackardCEO Carly Fiorina had a confession to make.

“I’m a loyal BlackBerry user, full disclosure. I love my BlackBerry Bold and its keyboard. People don’t want to learn new systems," Fiorina told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

By “people,” Fiorina’s referring to herself and other women. “Women have a harder time on the iPhone than men, because our fingers are colder and its heat sensitive,” she said.

The remark prompted a yelp from CNBC’s Becky Quick: “No wonder I can never type on it! My fingers are freezing!”

RIM is developing its next-generation BlackBerry 10 model, which would go up against Apple’stouch-screen devices. The form RIM’s new products may take dictate this once-dominant firm’s lifespan. Thus, on Tuesday, RIM enlisted JPMorgan Chaseand RBCCapital to help review its business model.

Perhaps a touch-screen isn’t the way to go. The question Fiorina asks is, what if the iPhone had a keyboard?

“I asked an Apple engineer once, ‘Do have any women on your design team?’ At the time the answer was, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘I suggest you get some, because you might have more women users.’ ”

Meanwhile, shareholders are waiting to hear what will come of Wall Street’s advice. The BlackBerry maker plans to give a more detailed update next month.

Overall, Fiorina has doubts about RIM’s future. “I thinkRIM may be a story, all too common, where companies wait too long to make the big move into something new,” she said.

Assuming it is too late to turn things around at RIM, the next question is whether they can sell their assets.

“Who does buy them? [Hewlett-Packard?] Is see HP walking away from the personal device business,” Fiorina surmised. She also doubts any interest will come from Microsoft.

“People who might want a big entry into the personal device business and a big user base who don’t have it are Asian names more than U.S. names right now," Fiorina added.

—By CNBC’s Jennifer Leigh Parker

Additional News: BlackBerry Maker RIM Hires AdvisersAdditional Views: No Reason to Buy RIM: Fast Pros

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No disclosure information was available for Carly Fiorina.


Follow Jennifer Leigh Parker on Twitter @jparker741.