BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) Chen Hints at Android Device With App Focus

Blackberry Ltd Venice Android Slider

BlackBerry Ltd , is working hard on its software pivot and the firm sees mobile as key factor to that turnaround. CEO John Chen indicated that mobile apps are key to the future of BlackBerry when he was speaking last Friday during a talk at the Churchill Club in Palo Alto, Calif. John Chen’s statement goes on to bolster the case for BlackBerry’s rumored Android phones but the CEO has refused to confirm that the firm was indeed making phones that will run on Android OS.

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The CEO says its smartphone business needs more apps before it can really kick off into fighting for a space in the crowded smartphone space. He notes that BlackBerry phones have not been able to find their place in the market. He said of the firm’s hardware business: “By any definition it is not a runaway success.”

Not Enough Apps

The problem is that BlackBerry phones, for all the build quality and the secure nature of the BB 10 OS lacks the apps that could attract users from platforms such as Android and iOS where there are millions of apps. More so, app developers seldom build apps straight up for Blackberry – very few of them have ported their apps from iOS and Android to BlackBerry.

John Chen says that lack of apps has been the Achilles heels of BlackBerry’s , phone business. For one, the BlackBerry World app store is years behind and “It’s not competitive to Google Play or the iTunes store”. He says, lacks of apps “drives my handset business crazy”.

However, BlackBerry is planning to change the situation with apps in order to cut into the mobile market with its smartphones. The firm has been rumored to be making android devices and John Chen says, “If you really want to play in the bigger market, you are going to have to be cross-platform”. He also note the importance of making allies in the market when he said, “You are going to have to have partners; otherwise you go away.”

Analysts Bullish on BlackBerry

The market is starting to increase the bullish views on BlackBerry based on the firm’s sense of direction. For one, short interest in the stock was reduced by 2.0% from a total of 105,006,253 shares on July 31st to a total of 102,925,437 on August 14.

Analysts at Cowen and Company maintained their “market perform” rating on the stock and they raised their price target from $10.00 to $11.00. Analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “market perform” rating on the stock. Zacks also has positive analysts’ numbers on BlackBerry , . A consensus of 19 analysts puts a price target of $9.539 on Blackberry and the most bullish analyst has a $14 price target on the stock.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.

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