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Blackberry CEO admits firm might leave handset business

But it's not going anywhere yet
Thu Apr 10 2014, 12:46

blackberry-z30-stock-1BLACKBERRY CEO John Chen has admitted that the firm will consider exiting the handset business if it continues to make no money from it.

Blackberry has been having a tough time for a while, as has been well reported. Its latest financial report that was issued at the end of March revealed the extent of its troubles, with the firm posting a fourth quarter loss of $423m and admitting that it sold just 3.4 million phones during the quarter, most of which were running Blackberry 7.

During the earnings call, Chen said that Blackberry would continue to produce and sell smartphones, but on Wednesday he admitted that the firm would consider exiting the smartphone business.

In an interview with Reuters, Chen said, "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business."

Chen added that it is still possible for the firm to make money from the business, however, and while he didn't reveal specific figures, he said that the firm can make a profit from sales of 10 million Blackberry handsets annually. 

With this in mind, the company is not giving up yet, and Chen said that the firm wants to regain its dominant share of the enterprise mobile market, saying that said he was "determined not to lose focus on the corporate and other customers that helped [Blackberry] build its global reach in the first place".

Beyond that, Chen added that his long term plans for BlackBerry include competing in the market for connected devices like appliances, vehicles and other items.

"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 (M2M)] requires more partnerships with others." µ


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