Feeds

BlackBerry not afraid to throw its mobe biz under a bus, says CEO Chen

'We are not going to go up against WhatsApp'

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Updated BlackBerry has said that it will finally consider selling off its smartphone-making business if it continues to be unprofitable.

"If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business," chief exec John Chen told Reuters in an interview*.

The Canadian phone biz reported poor sales again in its fourth quarter and full year results in March, having flogged about 3.4m phones in that final three-month period. Potential salvation in the form of its new BlackBerry 10 OS has failed to materialise, with only 1.1m of the devices sold sporting the new system and the rest of the sales coming from legacy mobes.

Chen said at the time that his company would respond to the sales by starting new production runs of older devices like the Bold, which runs on the BlackBerry 7 platform.

The CEO said today that the firm was also looking into investing in or partnering with companies that operate in regulated industries that need highly secure communications, like healthcare, financial and legal services.

"We are building an engineering team on the service side that is focused on security. We are building an engineering team on the device side that is focused on security. We will do some partnerships and we will probably, potentially do an M&A on security," he said.

"We are not going to go up against WhatsApp. We are going to be more focused on secure communications, secure messaging."

Focusing on security could be a smart move for the firm that built its business on corporate clients. Companies and individuals are more focused on security than ever since whistleblower Edward Snowden's NSA revelations, and any corporations dealing in sensitive information are likely to pay well for more secure mobes.

Chen also said that long-term plans for BlackBerry included the latest craze, the Internet of Things, and he hoped the firm could connect devices like kitchen appliances and cars to smartphones.

"We are not only interested in managing BlackBerry devices. We are interested in managing all devices that you would like to speak to each other," he said. "To achieve our dream of being a major player in machine-to-machine requires more partnerships with others." ®

Updated to add

* Surprise, surprise: Chen has claimed he was quoted out of context regarding the fate of his smartphones. "I want to assure you," he wrote on his blog, "that I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon."

No word, mind you, on what will happen after "any time soon".

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?