BlackBerry Ltd CEO John Chen, it seems, has set a time-limit for the recovery of the firms handsets business. On Thursday, speaking at the Code Mobile conference, he said the firms hardware business needs to turn profitable next year or “I have to think twice about what I do there.”
BlackBerry handsets business nearing end?
Chen’s comments indicate that the firm has less time now to turnaround its ailing phone business. Last month, the firm reported that its handsets sales are constantly declining, and now such remarks from Chen, do hint something ominous. If its hardware business continues to perform poorly, then it could mark the end of BlackBerry phones (at least on BB 10).
On being asked, if there will be any new BB 10 devices, Chen it “is going to be dictated by the business case.” In the Q3, the firm could sell only 800,000 phones, which is one-third of the phones it sold a year ago. At that time, Chen did say that he was disappointed with the poor sales of the phones.
To tackle the problem of sliding sales, the firm in October confirmed a phone based on the Android OS. This move from BlackBerry Ltd is a radical break from its strategy of using its own software. The firm has a lot of hopes attached to the Google’s software and its first Android phone, the Priv. The name of the device signifies ‘privilege’ and ‘privacy.’ It is a touch-screen phone with a slide-out physical keyboard.
BlackBerry Priv – new batch of photos
Talking of Priv, more of its photos have hit the web. One Reddit user by the name imsorandom attended a CISO conference where one of the BlackBerry executives had ‘Priv.’ Imsorandom, who tried the device himself, said the device is very nice and thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
BlackBerry Priv seemed “snappy and smooth” with a nice keyboard, the user said. “It had full access to the Play store as you would expect, and he had a few apps loaded. The screen was very nice with a high PPI, and it seemed to curvey around the edges. I have to say that I’m definitely interested in Blackberry again!” the user said.
On Thursday, BlackBerry Ltd shares closed up 1.82% at $7.29. Year to date, the stock is down almost 34% while in the last one-year, they are down over 23%.