BlackBerry CEO will dump handset business if it's not profitable [Update: maybe not]

BlackBerry CEO John Chen is clearly not married to the company's handset division. In a new interview with Reuters, he hinted strongly that a decision to either keep going with that part of the business or dump it is close at hand.

The article quotes Chen as saying, "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business." He also stated that the company could continue to make money in that area even if BlackBerry shipped just 10 million smartphones in a year. A few weeks ago, BlackBerry said that the company shipped 3.4 million units of its smartphones in its fiscal fourth quarter, but just 1.1 million of them used the new BB10 operating system.

If BlackBerry can't make money by selling handsets, how will the company, which continues to lose money. stay afloat? Chen said in the interview that their teams are putting in more time on security software products for enterprise customers, stating that businesses are more concerned with keeping their data private since the NSA Internet spying controversy started in 2013.

One thing is for sure; don't look for BlackBerry to pursue the consumer handset business anymore. Chen stated, "We are not going to spend any more money to maintain the latest version of Angry Birds."

Update: John Chen is apparently doing some damage control following the Reuters interview. In a post on the company's blog, he now says his remarks about BlackBerry dumping the handset division "were taken out of context." He added, "I want to assure you that I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon.‎"

Source: Reuters

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17 Comments

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What he wanted people to hear:

"I wouldn't be here If I thought I couldn't make money in the handset buisness."

People hear what they want to hear.

It's comments like this that will make the public loose even more faith in a company and stop buying their products.

Hethler said,
A troubled CEO with a troubled company. Guess they're perfect for marriage eh?

Serious ... troubled CEO? Do a search on John Chen & SysBase. I think troubled would be the opposite word to describe John Chen.

Damn. That is sad news to hear they are even considering that. I don't know any other phone that is even comparable to the build quality of the Q10 with its keyboard. At least to have another "player in the game" is a good thing, I bet more people would use a BB device if they actually gave it a shot. 10.2* is a nice OS but most people will never know since they will never venture away from Android/iOS to try it out.

I agree, BB (then RIM) really shot themselves in the foot waiting so long to bring BB10 to market. I know it takes time to build something new, but that just goes to show how behind they where about 5 years ago.

I personally like QWERTY hardware mobile phones... So I think as a choice they should remain in business and try to capture mid range budget market not uber high end mobile phones market.
If they manage to sneak mid range phone with Q10 design in middle east market with good social networking support + minimum 3G support. They can capture huge market.
Also isn't it contradictory to: http://crackberry.com/john-che...dset-business-any-time-soon

I agree but I don't saying that they should ditch touchscreen Z and A series, I am saying that as well that they should work on mid range market.
Lumia 520, Moto G level market segment..

xendrome said,
So... I sell Ice Cream, if my Ice Cream is not profitable, I won't sell Ice Cream anymore.

AKA Out of Business...

They actually sell other things including QNX which is behind a lot of new things (including iOS in the car)

You make it sound like Apple selected QNX to support their product, not actually true. QNX already runs on most car's in dash systems, so Apple is working with it out of necessity. A better way to state what you are saying would be "QNX is used by many car manufactures."

Rudy said,
They actually sell other things including QNX which is behind a lot of new things (including iOS in the car)

QNX was released under a free license years ago before blackberry took it over, if the in-car developers are complying with that license, they will be paying BB nothing. And just having QNX doesn't mean anything, QNX is old hat, it wouldn't keep their business afloat.

n_K said,

QNX was released under a free license years ago before blackberry took it over, if the in-car developers are complying with that license, they will be paying BB nothing. And just having QNX doesn't mean anything, QNX is old hat, it wouldn't keep their business afloat.

The whole point is that people are misinformed about BlackBerry - they are stuck on the smartphone sales. BlackBerry is a business they do not care whether they are as "sexy" as Apple (tongue in cheek) they care that they make a profit and bring a return on investment for their shareholders. I have been quite impressed by the new CEO John Chen ... only time will tell but he is acting quickly and is diversifying what they offer as company.

http://www.therecord.com/news-...erry-s-reliance-on-devices/