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​BlackBerry's former boss finally talks

TORONTO - Former BlackBerry (BBRY) mogul Jim Balsillie says Apple's (AAPL) introduction of the iPhone and BlackBerry's rushed attempt to match it were devastating for the once iconic company.

Ex-co-chief executive Jim Balsillie said Tuesday in his first public remarks since leaving the company in 2012 that he knew BlackBerry couldn't compete after the iPhone's introduction in 2007 and after BlackBerry's buggy touchscreen device called the Storm had a "100 percent return rate."

He said at the Empire Club in Toronto that the impact of rushing it out was devastating. He says Verizon (VZ), BlackBerry's largest customer, fired it over fiasco.

Pioneered in 1999, the BlackBerry changed the culture by allowing on-the-go business people to access email wirelessly. Then Apple showed that phones could handle much more than email and phone calls.

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