BlackBerry to Shut Down Handset Business if Not Profitable Next Year: CEO

BlackBerry to Shut Down Handset Business if Not Profitable Next Year: CEO

BlackBerry CEO John Chen during the Code Mobile Conference on Thursday hinted that the company might shutter its mobile handset business if it remains non-profitable next year.

The CEO of the Canadian smartphone maker said the company aims to sell 5 million smartphones in a year to achieve profitability, reported The Verge.

Chen at the Code Mobile conference said that BlackBerry Priv, company's first Android smartphone, might boost the company's handset business. The Android-powered Priv besides offering more apps to users would also be delivering privacy and security to users' content, something which Chen thinks is the key marketing mantra to attract users. "We want to bring the BlackBerry security knowhow to Android," he added. "The market wants privacy and security, and they also want apps." Samsung Knox is currently the closest competitor to Blackberry's security solutions, said Chen reported Engadget.

He however said that BB10 would still be an important part of the BlackBerry ecosystem as it is more secure than the security solutions the company is offering on Android-based Priv. In addition, to bring Priv in hands of more users, BlackBerry would also be offering the slider smartphone in carrier stores in the US. While 5 million unit sales might be a big deal for the Canadian smartphone maker, it is just a small fraction of what giants such as Samsung and Apple sell.

Chen showed-off BlackBerry Priv at the event and said the device would go on sale later this year. On asking if the company's target audience is the enterprise users or the general users, Chen said "I'm building a software business that focuses on endpoint security. My audience goes beyond just enterprise." The company last month posted a bigger-than-expected second-quarter loss. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company last month announced its acquisition of Good Technology for $425 million (roughly Rs. 2,809 crores). The deal is expected to bring some new clients to BlackBerry for its business services.


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