It's BlackBerry 10 launch day and obviously it's a bad time for RIM to have any negative soundbites swirling around the place – especially from one of its top brass.
But surely that can't excuse RIM's European MD Stephen Bates completely ignoring repeated questions about what the company has learned from its rivals and what has gone wrong on its own doorstep in interviews with the BBC this morning.
Bates was on BBC Breakfast this morning, and was interviewed by Radio 5 Live (both links UK-only), as RIM kicked off its big BlackBerry 10 launch push with a major PR offensive to push the capabilities of its new platform for business users and the general public.
But when Bates was asked repeatedly “what have you learned from Apple / the iPhone” (on radio) and “what went wrong [over the past couple of years]” (on TV), he completely ignored the question and continued with what sounded like a pre-scripted company line straight from a press release.
Now Bates' approach was clearly based on the logic that today is no day to be selling yourself short or using valuable airtime to talk about your competitors, but in completely stonewalling the interviewers' questions, he came across as stubborn and obstinate and surely left a lot of viewers and listeners under the impression that he actually wasn't able to answer the questions in the first place.
Which is surely much worse than taking just a little time out of your predictable charm offensive to let people know that you're aware of where your rivals have gained the edge and have upped your game in response.
It was made all the more annoying by Bates' insistence on beginning his answer to just about every question with the word “so”, a habit that seems to be increasingly common when tech company representatives talk about their products in “interviews”. So irritating.