Articles about John Chen

Finally. BlackBerry lobs out new BB10 OS update

BlackBerry finally released an update for its BB10 OS, eight months later than promised. In September 2015, when BlackBerry confirmed the coming of its first Android device, CEO John Chen promised a BB10 update for March this year. The 10.3.3 update was thrown into the US National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Dec 2016

BlackBerry design boss tells El Reg: 'We're not getting out of phones'

Analysis The more BlackBerry explains its phone strategy, the more people insist there will never be another BlackBerry. Which must be annoying. Headlines a month ago that the company had “hung up on its handset business” were only half right. Executives reaffirmed to us this week that they expect to see more BlackBerry phones rather …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Oct 2016

BlackBerry: You can't just roll up and make one

Interview BlackBerry says it won’t license its brand and security hardened Android “to any Tom Dick and Harry” as it tries to maintain the value of its brand. The BlackBerry senior VP for sales for its Mobility division Alex Thurber - stopping to talk to El Reg as he sailed through London on his honeymoon - also told us BlackBerry had …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Oct 2016

Invasion of the Brandsnatchers: How Nokia and BlackBerry inhabit the afterlife

Analysis Early next year you should able to buy Nokia phones and BlackBerry phones, two of the giant names of the Noughties. None of these phones will be made by Nokia or BlackBerry, and all of them will be Android phones. The famous brands will inhabit new bodies, with the licensees hoping to rekindle some nostalgia both giants once …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016

‘Inflexion point’ BlackBerry washes hands of hardware biz

Here’s your chance to design your own BlackBerry. BlackBerry today ended its 17-year adventure as a phone-maker with CEO John Chen announcing “a new strategic direction focussed on licensing our secure device software and the BlackBerry brand.” There will still be BlackBerrys – a new one is imminent - but BlackBerry won’t make …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016

BlackBerry: Forget phones, Lawsuits In Motion is back – and it's firing off patent claims

Analysis When Blackberry announced earlier this year it was going to give up making mobile phones, most wondered what it would actually do as a company. Part of the answer is rebadged Android gear. Now another part has arrived in a new lawsuit lodged against internet telephony company Avaya: BlackBerry's going to become a patent troll …
Kieren McCarthy, 05 Aug 2016

BlackBerry's new best pals: Microsoft, Google, Samsung

BlackBerry didn't drop any bombshells at its annual Security Summit last week. Unlike previous years, there were no surprise acquisitions or products. But it did conspicuously share the limelight with a number of partners, some of which may make jolly good new owners. On the stage were Samsung, Google and Microsoft. The latter …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jul 2016

BlackBerry's licensing strategy looks smart – and a lot like Nokia's

Analysis BlackBerry didn’t show a new phone in New York City at its annual Security Summit last week, and CEO John Chen sounded a bit fed up that the assembled press corps kept asking about phones. But there was enough in his comments to glean how BlackBerry’s device strategy has evolved - and it’s following a familiar path taken by once …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Jul 2016

What keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night?

Sketch So, what, if anything, keeps former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani awake at night? Actually, he told a BlackBerry event today, there is this one thing. “You gotta always worry about a nation with an insane leader,” he told startled attendees. Well, Rudy. It’s funny you should say that. Giuliani had flown overnight from …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016

BlackBerry chief: We don't have to make phones to make phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said his company has an internal project to bring Android security up to the level of its BlackBerry 10 platform, which should bear fruit after the release of Android N. He also hinted at a future based around brand and technology licensing. "We have a tremendous amount of technology. We can stay in …
Andrew Orlowski, 19 Jul 2016
A car pulled over near a hazard sign on a country road. Photo by Shutterstock

BlackBerry's turnaround stalls

BlackBerry announced further losses today as its comeback plan snagged on adjustments to the books. Revenue was down to $400m (GAAP) for the quarter, down from $658m. But the company made significant balance sheet adjustments including a one-time asset asset impairment charge of $501m, and an inventory write down of $41m, …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jun 2016

Comeback mobe comes back

BlackBerry’s “comeback” phone – the Android-based Priv – keeps coming back to AT&T, a carrier executive has admitted. "We've seen more returns than we would like," the unnamed exec told CNet, saying the Priv was “struggling”. AT&T snared the US exclusive for the Priv’s launch in early November. It’s ominous for BlackBerry …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jun 2016
BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry wakes up, dunks Priv in Marshmallow

BlackBerry has released the Android Marshmallow 6.0 platform update for its Priv flagship, alongside big improvements to the Hub, the phone’s hallmark message aggregator. The enterprise-focused Priv was launched last year with Lollipop 5.1.1 inside. It was BlackBerry’s first Android and it showed: despite the device’s ample …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Apr 2016
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BlackBerry is pivoting from phones to enterprise software

Interview BlackBerry’s purchase of rival Good has begun to convince people it can make the big shift from phones to enterprise software. The company’s global sales chief Carl Wiese shared his view of the post-Snowden, post-Schrems landscape with The Register. “On conference calls last year almost all of the questions from financial …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Apr 2016
John Chen

Translated: BlackBerry CEO John Chen on cops-snooping-on-BBM

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has responded to last week's reheated news that police can pull text messages from BlackBerry handsets. The chief exec's blog post can be found here, and our FAQ on the matter is right here. Basically, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chats sent via BIS (the BlackBerry Internet Service) are encrypted and …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Apr 2016
BlackBerry Priv. Press pic

BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

BlackBerry's CEO has used an interview with United Arab Emirates outlet The National to announce plans to move the troubled mobe-maker's Android efforts downscale. Last year, the company launched into the Android market with the high-end Priv, which garnered good reviews. Sales, however, were another matter, and the Priv only …

BlackBerry's still losing millions – but hit its revenue target, finally

BlackBerry has hit its target of earning half a billion dollars in software and services revenue over a full fiscal year, thanks to the acquisition of long time rival Good Technology as well as BB's patent revenue. The Canadian firm still has some way to go to being profitable, though, and the old phone business doesn’t seem …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Apr 2016

Feds look left and right for support – and see everyone backing Apple

Analysis Public opinion over the judicial demand that Apple create a version of its mobile operating system for the FBI – dubbed FBiOS – appears to have landed firmly against the Feds. The FBI has demanded Apple assist it in breaking into the mobile phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook who, along with his wife, killed 14 people …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Feb 2016

It’s alive! BlackBerry 10 users lobbed fresh 'Hotfix' update

BlackBerry users worldwide received an OTA (over the air) “HotFix” update yesterday, regardless of where they bought the device. And that's significant. Version 10.2.3.2876, which for some users can be over 700MB, is essentially the same code as version 10.2.3.2836 that was pushed to a small number of devices in December – …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jan 2016

BlackBerry: Comeback canter should be a trot... yet, weirdly, isn't

Analysis Investors looking to make long term bets in technology companies are often faced with a conundrum. Is the company exaggerating its assets? Or does it have great assets, but isn't selling them as well as it should? BlackBerry might be a textbook example of the latter. The company posted higher than expected revenue on Friday ($ …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Dec 2015

Former security officials and BlackBerry CEO pile in on encryption debate

The rolling debate over encryption has been joined by BlackBerry's CEO and a range of former national security officials. Following a recent political pushback, and a Republican debate that appeared to again ask for backdoors to be introduced into encryption products, the experts have stepped in to argue for a more realistic …
Kieren McCarthy, 18 Dec 2015

Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

Listicle Clickbait Special BlackBerry wants you to know that the BlackBerry 10 (BB10) isn't dead. But beyond receiving essential maintenance, it simply isn't a priority for BlackBerry, which boasts that it now has over 50 per cent of its staff in software and sales jobs. "We have two confirmed new releases, 10.3.3 and 10.3.4, on the roadmap. These …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Oct 2015
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BlackBerry's tactical capitulation to Google buys time – and possibly a future

Analysis BlackBerry loyalists may despair – but for the first time in a very long time, BlackBerry has been showered with praise for a new device. While Reddit is no bellwether of mainstream opinion, the Android-based Priv (which rhymes with "spiv," not "reprieve") officially announced on Friday has received far more enthusiasm than …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2015

BlackBerry emits Android mobe as biz goes down the Priv

BlackBerry officially confirmed the release of its first ever Android phone today, and it shall be known as "Priv". It also promised to maintain its BB10 platform with security updates, with a further release 10.3.3 in March next year. The Oxford Dictionary defines a "Privy" as "[noun] a toilet located in a small shed outside …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2015

More BlackBerry layoffs: 200 Venice devs binned amid Android shift

BlackBerry’s phone ambitions are diminishing more than ever as the former smartphone giant prepares to launch its first pure Android phone. Reuters reports that around 200 hardware and design staff have been laid off, following the completion of work on an Android device codenamed "Venice". It’s the latest in a succession of “ …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Sep 2015
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Cash-happy BlackBerry slurps one-time rival Good for $425m

BlackBerry has dug deep into its lint-filled pockets to buy its one-time legal adversary Good Technology for a cash sum of $425m (£280m). BlackBerry hopes the deal will allow it to beef up its presence in the enterprise mobile management space. John Chen, BlackBerry chief exec, said the acquisition will expand its offering in …
Kat Hall, 04 Sep 2015
BlackBerry Venice

Leaked images claim to show BlackBerry's first Android phone

Images have hit the web of what is purportedly BlackBerry's first Android handset. Eye candy. pic.twitter.com/GtJwOfOus8 — Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 19, 2015 The photos and short video clips were posted by blogger Evan Blass, aka Evleaks, who got them from an unnamed source. They allegedly show a device to be released …
Neil McAllister, 20 Aug 2015
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BlackBerry vows to make even fewer phones

It isn’t just Microsoft that’s going on a drastic phone diet. BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen today indicated that the Canadian enterprise vendor would cut its device portfolio from the four devices previously promised for 2015 to “two or one” a year. “We are reducing jobs, but it is not so much as reducing; we are shifting it, so …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Jul 2015

BlackBerry pecks up crisis squawker AtHoc to add sauce to BBM

BlackBerry shed some light on its latest acquisition target, AtHoc, today. It looks an improbable fit at first: AtHoc does crisis comms for emergency services and campuses, and its big customers include the military, the Department of Homeland Security and the DoD. Speaking at BlackBerry’s annual security summit in New York, …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2015

BB10 AND Android? How BlackBerry can have its cake and eat it

Analysis New BlackBerry handsets are coming with unrecognized part numbers, which were spotted on an Indian import database. Three weeks ago, Reuters reported that new models from the company would run Android – raising question marks over BlackBerry's own proprietary BlackBerry OS 10 (BB10) platform. In the absence of a rapid …
Andrew Orlowski, 07 Jul 2015

BlackBerry boss vows to keep making phones

BlackBerry CEO John Chen told shareholders at his company's AGM today that he’ll stay in the handset business as he reckons he has a good chance at making money from it. Chen didn’t say how: whether he’d stick doggedly to BlackBerry’s own BB10, flirt with Android, or bring them both into a hypervisor-enabled cohabitation …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jun 2015

BlackBerry on Android? It makes perfect sense

Analysis Four months ago, BlackBerry announced it was porting key features of its BlackBerry OS software to Android and iOS – stuff like its onscreen keyboard, Universal Search, and the notification Hub. It was only a matter of time before word emerged of somebody actually grabbing this idea and running with it. The only surprise is …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jun 2015
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

BlackBerry: We ARE cutting jobs AGAIN

Blackberry is to axe workers across its loss-making hardware division to lighten overheads, the ailing Canadian smartphone maker has confirmed. The company temporarily broke into the black during Q4 of fiscal ’15 ended February, but this short run of fortune couldn’t mask the wider malaise and yet another year of losses. CEO …
Paul Kunert, 24 May 2015
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T-Mobile prods at corpse of BlackBerry, says 'me too!'

T-Mobile has taken up the cause of BlackBerry, agreeing to offer the fading firm's products in its mobile lineup, nearly two years after it dropped the Canadian's hardware from retail stores. John Legere, head of T-Mobile US, stayed true to his 'uncarrier' credo by caving to isolated user demand for new models from the …
Shaun Nichols, 07 May 2015
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Did we just wake up in an alternate universe? BlackBerry turns a profit

BlackBerry actually made money in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2015, but the bigger picture for the ailing smartphone maker is far from rosy. The Canadian firm reported net income of $28m for the three months ending on February 28, compared to a loss of $423m for the same period a year ago. As a result, it was able to post …
Neil McAllister, 27 Mar 2015
BlackBerry and Android, together at last

Droidberry dangles: Why the BlackBerry-Samsung alliance is big potatoes

Analysis There’s something about BlackBerry that even its biggest fans can forget. BlackBerry has never been a phone company – it has always been a network company. For over thirty years, BlackBerry has done clever things to and with networks. It brought efficient data management, security and intelligence to mobile packet networks – …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Mar 2015
BlackBerry Leap smartphone

BlackBerry gets flirty with QWERTY IP, launches $275 Leap

MWC 2015 BlackBerry's CEO told The Register today that everything in the company’s IP portfolio is up for grabs, including hardware IP for BlackBerry’s hallmark QWERTY keyboards. “I’m not a big believer in holding on to all your secret sauces,” John Chen told us. “We have 53 per cent of staff employed in IP creation and engineering and …
Andrew Orlowski, 03 Mar 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

Have it all: BlackBerry to port crown jewels to iPhone, Android

MWC 2015 At the Mobile World Congress in 2015, BlackBerry said it would port key client platform features – like its soft keyboard, Universal Search and Hub – to iPhone and Android, and also throw them into its enterprise software bundles. It marks a huge leap along BlackBerry’s transition to a software services company – but CEO John …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Mar 2015
Tim Cook as Mr T

Apple CEO: Fandroids are BINNING Android in favour of IPHONES

Apple is wolfing down KitKats and Lollipops for lunch after it emerged that most iPhone 6 users have come from Android. iBling salesman Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal that only 15 per cent of iPhone 6 customers have upgraded from other iPhones. It’s the first time he’s given a number for this trend, and although he’s …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jan 2015
John Chen

FORCE Apple to support BlackBerry hardware, demands John Chen

In a blog post on the BlackBerry website, CEO John Chen has called on regulators to force Apple and Netflix to support Blackberry hardware, claiming this forms part of the ongoing net neutrality debate. He argues that because BlackBerry has the eyes, ears and fingers of the most important people in the world – thanks to its …
Simon Rockman, 22 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Classic QWERTY key smartphone

Samsung BlackBerry gobble DENIED: We're not for sale to Sammy – execs

Samsung was today rumored to be eyeing up acquiring BlackBerry for $7.5bn – until the Canadian biz point-blank shot down the anonymous claims within hours later. Reuters cited unnamed well-placed sources in announcing the South Korean giant was in talks with BlackBerry so it could snap up the troubled phone maker's patent …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jan 2015
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry Enterprise chief: Yes, we did leave users behind

Interview BlackBerry's previous management left its users behind and underused a vital asset, its enterprise chief told El Reg in a wide-ranging interview. John Sims is part of the rescue team brought in a year ago, when the Canadian giant was at rock bottom – and was seemingly on the wrong end of every trend in the business. The …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Jan 2015
BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO Chen says to expect profits ... in 2016

In a conference call with financial analysts on Friday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the firm kept costs under control and even eked out a meager profit in the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, but he couldn't hide that the ailing mobe-maker's revenues continued their steady decline. BlackBerry brought in revenues of $793m …
Neil McAllister, 19 Dec 2014
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BACK OFF, KIM KARDASHIAN. BlackBerry CEO is NOT into SENSATIONALISM

There are no plans for a takeover at Blackberry, says John Chen, CEO of the mobile firm, who recently took to LinkedIn to explain his Kim Kardashian-free global strategy. And it’s sensible, all about business and not about glitz. The company will not repeat the mistake it made with former brand ambassador Alicia Keys and will …
Simon Rockman, 09 Dec 2014
The BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry's turnaround relies on a secret weapon: Its own network

Analysis Last year we invited you, as a thought experiment, to value BlackBerry as an oddball cluster of startups – and now it seems the company has taken our advice to heart. It forms the heart of its strategy: the once tightly coupled divisions are free to compete – even if it means taking business off each other. It also means …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Nov 2014

BlackBerry comeback: BES12 server revealed – it will manage ALL THE THINGS

Turnaround artiste John Chen marked one year as BlackBerry boss with an avalanche of enterprise software news related to the firm's new BES12 server, which can manage enterprise mobe devices running Android, iOS, Windows Phone – and of course, BB's own mobile OS. BlackBerry wants to manage absolutely everything: PCs, Macs, …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2014
BlackBerry Passport

BlackBerry chief vows: We'll focus on 'core devices' and on, er, NOT LOSING MONEY

BlackBerry chief John Chen has said that the Canadian firm won’t be trying to launch too many new devices as it struggles to claw its way back to profitability. Chen told Reuters that the firm was focused on profits, so it wouldn’t be pushing for heaps of new smartphones. "Once we turn this company to profitability again, I …
Steve Ballmer

'I get it if you don't make money for 2 or 3 years, but Amazon's 21'

QuoTW The EU's digital office has warned this week that Hungary's proposed tax on ISPs can't become a precedent in Europe. Ryan Heath, spokesperson for digital czar Steelie Neelie Kroes, told El Reg: This must be seen in a wider context as part of a pattern to limit media and internet freedom. That is why it is so important to …

Hate the BlackBerry Z10 and Passport? How about this dusty old flashback instead?

The barren husk of BlackBerry is looking to recapture a stake in the smartphone market by going back to its roots as a maker of business communication devices. The company said that its upcoming BlackBerry Classic (née Q20) handset, which is expected to launch in November, will hearken back to the days when BlackBerry's name …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Oct 2014
BlackBerry Passport

Who's that sniffing around BlackBerry? Oh, is it YOU again, Lenovo?

Lenovo may be close to a deal to acquire Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry – for real, this time – according to multiple reports. Citing anonymous sources, Canadian broadcaster CBC claimed on Monday that the Chinese equipment maker is planning to offer to snap up ailing BlackBerry at around $15 per share. The Toronto Sun …
Neil McAllister, 21 Oct 2014