BlackBerry scrambles to counter Reuters story; says it won't sell handset business

BlackBerry scrambles to counter Reuters story; says it won't sell handset business

Summary: A Reuters story on Wednesday claimed BlackBerry's chief executive would ditch its handset business amid falling sales. In a follow-up blog post, he countered the claims.

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TOPICS: BlackBerry
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(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

NEW YORK — Somewhere along the lines, BlackBerry chief executive John Chen's words got minced. At least, so he claims.

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

It's hard to take that out of context, but that's what Chen said in a blog post following the report's publication, saying: "I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon.‎"

Reuters claimed he would not be any more specific, but said it "should" be possible to keep its handset business profitable if it sold 10 million devices a year. At its peak, the company sold 52 million, but sold just 2 million in the last financial quarter. 

According to BlackBerry enterprise president John Sims in a one-on-one session in New York City, who was also in the room with Chen during the interview, said he would monitor things along the way. 

"I'm confident we can make money in the device business," Sims said, but Sims said that was not included in the interview.

"BlackBerry is not a handset-only company," Chen said in the blog post. "That’s why we’re complementing our Devices business with other revenue streams from enterprise services and software, to messaging. We're also investing in emerging solutions such as Machine to Machine [M2M] technologies that will help to power the backbone of the Internet of Things [IoT]."

"We have not given up and we are not leaving the Devices business," he concluded.

Topic: BlackBerry

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14 comments
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  • these rumors are perpetrated

    by apple and M$.
    LlNUX Geek
  • The BlackBerry Z30 is a Killer Smartphone

    Way long battery life. Multi-tasking. Peek/Hub/Flow. HDMI out. It can do things that most other smartphones cannot.

    The BlackBerry Z10 beats the iPhoneX in ever single performance and hardware category there is. It's the phone that iPhone wants to be when it grows up.

    The BlackBerry Q10 has the traditional BlackBerry physical keyboard, in addition to all the modern features of a touch smartphone.
    bb_apptix
    • Except

      The battery. Lol but other than that I love my z10. I'm sick of hearing the "dead BlackBerry" talk. Gets old after a while.
      Georgefly97
    • well

      It might be "killer" in terms of a blackberry... But my HTC One M8 has all day battery life, a god-tier fast quad core, 1080p screen, 32GB onboard storage and 64GB SD card support, and amazing audio quality. Also you can use HDMI out with an adapter, but honestly I never used HDMI on my phone.
      Jimster480
      • HDMI adapter

        @ well ,Did you know the Z10 has that already?
        I used it all the time, when im at my parents house I go on face book and show pictures that my cousin in Europe has.
        Didn't the HTC M8 just come out? Z10 has been out for over a year so HTC copied BB.
        onvisa
      • Be honest... how any apps can you load before hittng the wall?

        I gave up on my Android when I couldn't install apps (and I'm a light user) without the constant hassle of saving what you needed to the sdcard. Then you find not all wil load there, and not all load much there. Maybe a full wipe and restart would have helped but lets be serious... that aint happening in the real world.

        If we look at the business side... BB is preferred for security and its inbuilt support of corporate email, and MDM now. There is no way Android or IOS can be treated as a simple solution... any add-on app is a hassle at the back end. You might not see it till you're asked to configure and use a PIN but multiple apps, multiple servers, multiple PINs means loads resources in time, money, and staff. Aint worth it! For me; I want Blackberry to survive. I wish they'd seen the problems growing as the rest of us did; and I still wish they would cut the product line; nobody is in any way interested in twenty phones when two or three will do. And they still need to get a hardware platform that will grow rather than become junk over time.

        Agree about the HDMI; you can but why would you. Maybe for presentations but then it would need to be emergency and seem like bad planning. I decided that after I bought the cable and tried it :-)
        johnmckay
  • Is that the Death March ?

    I and many I know who used to be on Blackberry have already moved off or are in the process of doing so. A mix of both business and consumer users who have lost the long faith they had in the devices, fed up of lacklustre apps stores, paying more, etc.

    Also increasingly I have found and seen others with annoying frustrations such as update your blackberry software and find the phone no longer pairs with many inbuilt car kits in BMW, Range rovers etc and you have to downgrade - Apple for example no problem just works ! And the horrible Blackberry user portal interface and approach clunky and old hat is not the word.

    A real shame as a i was an advocate since the 'wheel' days, but the wheel has since turned square and stopped turning. Another Blockbuster video, Kodak moment in my view a company lost its way and lead and not listened to the users and market and stayed on its 'we know best path' a real shame and bets are on they will not be in the device market in 2 years time !

    Ian Moyse
    ianm32@...
    • Old BlackBerry

      Do you even have a clue about BlackBerry 10? The issues you are talking about is very old news. I also call BS on the "iPhone just works". If that's true, why are the Genius bar folks so busy?
      I know at least one guy that has problems with his iPhone connecting to his vehicle.
      John Hanks
  • Reuters

    has committed what may essentially amount to journalistic fraud.
    Jacob VanWagoner
  • never

    Say never!
    Low_tech
  • Still the best

    No matter what, BlackBerry is still the best for business purposes. I say this as someone who has an iPhone for my personal use. The iPhone is great, but for business e-mail, nothing beats the real keyboard of the BlackBerry!
    gary.lipkin@...
  • Problems with blackberry Q10, hope for Q20

    I do not believe in cloning a good thing. I have a Blackberry Bold 9900 and the iPhone. Both are great and compliment each other, if I didn't have an iPhone, I would buy iPad Mini with 4G connectivity. The problem with the BB Q10 is the design and removal fo the Start/STop and track pad, they know it will bring it back with Q20. I speak for all those who type in two languages and switch back and forth, the Q10 is a terribel design, requiring 3 fingers to toggle back and forth whereas BB Bold only requires one finger or thumb. Also side Swiping in BB Q10 just doesn't work well, because there is also no software start/stop on Q10, what a stupid design. Did anyone realize BB Bold 9900 had NFC enabled and working since 2011? Blackberry as a company is not dead but they should maintain claim when discussing their value to MNOs like T-Mobile. The security on Blackberry devices, which is very important for mobile payment are also very good. Their mistakes were in management and vision. They have moved supplies to Foxconn whch is wise. I know I will be shoot for this but I do not see money going away, the QWERTY keyboard going away, at least not right now. Blackberry should develop a good VoIP solution because the only major business app they don't sell to be able to run is Skype, and well, yes no support on my BB Bold 9900 for Major League Baseball. Business people wait for the BB Q20, ask for it, push for it, and if Blackberry builds and delivers it in 2014, we consumers will buy it, really.
    karljweaver
  • Zack seems to be a hater

    Zack,

    Why do you only publish every negative story about BlackBerry?

    What did they do to make them hate so much?
    John Hanks
    • iphone

      Because all tech journalist are iPhones and all day is play with there iPhone.
      When they go for a job interview they show there iphone and get hire,you know why because the company hacke's them and see what they do.
      onvisa