Beleaguered BlackBerry forced to dispel rumors about potential exit from handset business

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2014
Though BlackBerry was once a market leader, times have become so tough for the Canadian smartphone maker that the company's CEO was prompted on Thursday to publicly refute rumors that his company might exit the handset business entirely.

Q10
BlackBerry Q10. | Source: BlackBerry


BlackBerry apparently has no plans to sell its devices business, Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement posted to the company's official blog. Nor does it plan to abandon the smartphone market "any time soon."

"I know you still love your BlackBerry devices," Chen said to devotees. "I love them too and I know they created the foundation of this company. Our focus today is on finding a way to make this business profitable."

That means that smartphones may play a less important role going forward in BlackBerry, but a role nonetheless. Outside of its devices business, BlackBerry apparently plans to seek out other revenue streams from enterprise services, software, messaging and more.

Still, Chen said that his company plans to "continue to fight" against rivals such as Apple and Samsung, which are now the two most dominant forces in the smartphone hardware business.

BlackBerry


"We will do everything in our power to continue to rebuild this business and deliver devices with the iconic keyboard and other features that you have come to expect from this brand," he said.

Chen was forced to make the comments after Reuters ran a story stating that Chen would consider selling off BlackBerry's handset division. For his part, the BlackBerry CEO says he was misquoted, though the publication has not yet issued any kind of retraction.

The fact that people are not talking about new BlackBerry handsets, but rather whether the company will release any future devices at all, is yet another sign of how far the company has fallen.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry cut ties with T-Mobile, the fourth-largest wireless provider in the U.S. The move was apparently part of a new strategy reducing its reliance on carriers to sell their products. T-Mobile then dismissed the departure as a non-issue, as the CEO revealed that BlackBerry users represent just over 1 percent of its total customer base.

BlackBerry's current struggles were actually predicted by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 2010, when the then-CEO made a surprise appearance on one of his company's quarterly earnings calls. At the time, Jobs noted that Apple had sold 14.1 million iPhones in the preceding quarter, "handily" beating BlackBerry's 12.1 million units sold in the same period.

"We've now passed (BlackBerry, then known as) RIM," Jobs said. "I don't see them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. It will be a challenge for them to create a mobile software platform and convince developers to support a third platform."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    They’ll announce the discontinuation of their hardware lines by June.

  • Reply 2 of 37
    BlackBerry apparently has no plans to sell its devices business, Chief Executive John Chen said <a href="http://blogs.blackberry.com/2014/04/not-leaving-handsets/">in a statement</a> posted to the company's official blog. Nor does it plan to abandon the smartphone market "any time soon."

    His statement would have had more impact had he not been checking the clock on the wall while he made it...
  • Reply 3 of 37
    What will they do with QNX -- imbedded in most automobiles? And much more?

    http://www.qnx.com/company/customer_stories/

    http://www.qnx.com/company/30ways/

    RIMM acquired QNX for $200 Million in 2010.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Spin off the hardware division to make really good add-on keyboards/cases/covers/sliders for other brands of touchscreen phones. People love their key style. (I'm a touchscreen man myself! But I know people who don't mind bulk and always get a physical keyboard.)
  • Reply 5 of 37
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,357member
    So it's really EOL.
  • Reply 6 of 37
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member
    What will they do with QNX -- imbedded in most automobiles? And much more?

    I assume that will depend on if they can create any synergies between the QNX stuff and whatever products and services they will decide to keep alive. The money generated by QNX will neither be enough to keep the company alive, nor to even pay their loans. And there are multiple free RTOSs out there that could be used instead, provided any of them comes up with some reliable and professional support for them. If you talk to car people, you will find that developer support was one of their main issues with e.g. VXWorks, leading to almost all of them jumping on QNX, it was not so much the product itself.

    The problem for BB is really that none of their products and services is sufficient to keep them alive, and most do not make sense without the others. Why use BES if there are no more BB devices? There are plenty of competitors out there to manage iOS, Android, WP and BB, and especially MS's new management platform, which will address mobile and legacy devices including Macs and Windows PCs, will destroy BES over time; why treat mobile and conventional devices separately, when everything can be integrated? Without handhelds and MDM, what is left? Breadcrumbs from QNX and only cost from BBM...

    If Chen does not find a way to keep the handheld business alive, the remaining business will not be worth keeping around. And with the Canadian government blocking potential buyers from Asia, his chances of selling the business are meager, too.
  • Reply 7 of 37
    What will they do with QNX -- imbedded in most automobiles? And much more?

    http://www.qnx.com/company/customer_stories/

    http://www.qnx.com/company/30ways/

    RIMM acquired QNX for $200 Million in 2010.

    And they can spin it off just as easily.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    "Say you will, say you won't, make up your mind tonight
    Say you will, say you won't be my guiding light
    Say you will, say you won't, make up your mind this time
    Say you do, say you do, you wanna be mine"

    - Foreigner (Britsh American band, which by my alchemy is pretty much Canadian....;-) )
  • Reply 9 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    The way he killed the company CEO should stand for Chief Execution Officer.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    knowitall wrote: »
    So it's really EOL.

    Short term they've slowed the losses, but long term, what is their strategy for beating iOS and Android and Windows Phone? As far as I can tell, buying time for QNX won't lead to a bright future. It is heading for the same fate as PalmOS and webOS.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post



    The way he killed the company CEO should stand for Chief Execution Officer.

    Somebody had to...

     

    Edit: And don't forget he's working for free! (13 mil shares only)

  • Reply 12 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    ......beating iOS and Android and Windows Phone?.....

    So I ask is that even possible at this point?
  • Reply 13 of 37
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    andysol wrote: »
    Somebody had to...

    Edit: And don't forget he's working for free! (13 mil shares only)

    I don't see why anyone had to. They had a large customer base, and if they had released the Z10 instead of the god awful Storm they probably wouldn't have lost all the customers that they did.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    So I ask is that even possible at this point?

    Not with the cards they have in play. They need the equivalent of a game changer. A "me too look I can do touchscreens and apps" strategy isn't enough.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post





    His statement would have had more impact had he not been checking the clock on the wall while he made it...

    You mean 'taking' the clock and pictures from the wall, and emptying his desk/cabinets.

  • Reply 16 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    [I][SIZE=4]Reports of my death have been greatly [accurate].”[/SIZE][/I]
  • Reply 17 of 37
    knowitall wrote: »
    So it's really EOL.

    Short term they've slowed the losses, but long term, what is their strategy for beating iOS and Android and Windows Phone? As far as I can tell, buying time for QNX won't lead to a bright future. It is heading for the same fate as PalmOS and webOS.

    QNX for phones and tablets is dead! However QNX as an embedded OS for automotive, instrumentation, etc. has a bright future and little competition:
    30 Ways QNX Touches Your Life

    People encounter QNX technology every day when they:
    1. Use Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube - QNX technology provides the software foundation for the world’s highest-capacity routers, which handle the data, voice, and video traffic for hundreds of millions of Internet users every day.
    2. Flip a light switch - QNX technology controls thousands of power-generation systems worldwide, from wind turbines to nuclear stations to hydroelectric plants.
    3. Call for help - By leveraging the unmatched reliability of QNX technology, 9 1 1 dispatch systems deliver emergency assistance 24/7, nonstop.
    4. Call for help on the road - The QNX-based OnStar system, deployed in dozens of car models, automatically calls for help in a crash and can even provide emergency responders with the car's exact location.
    5. Use green energy - QNX-based power-grid simulators help utilities integrate electricity from solar panels, wind farms, and other renewable energy sources.
    6. Save gas - QNX-based traffic control systems reduce fuel consumption by optimizing traffic flow, minimizing traffic jams, and reducing waits at intersections.
    7. Eat a jelly donut - QNX-based food inspection systems detect dangerous contaminants and can even spot items with missing ingredients, such as jelly donuts that have no jelly.
    8. Get a caffeine fix - Car navigation systems based on QNX technology not only provide automatic route selection and turn-by-turn directions, but can even track down the nearest coffee shop if you’re thirsting for a latté.
    9. Shop online - Online retailers like Amazon.com and Avnet rely on QNX-based warehouse automation systems to move massive amounts of merchandise every day.
    10. Watch TV - QNX technology keeps couch potatoes happy, controlling television stations, delivering cable signals, and even powering universal remotes.
    11. Watch an action flick - QNX technology powers motion-control systems that create some of Hollywood’s most spectacular special effects and stunts.
    12. Take a train - From high-speed trains to subway cars, QNX-based systems go the distance, controlling locomotives and coordinating railway traffic.
    13. Fly in a plane - QNX technology is at the core of pilot-training simulators and air-traffic control systems worldwide.
    14. Board a boat - QNX-based navigation and radar systems keep cruise ships on course by helping crews navigate through fog, bad weather, and narrow estuaries.
    15. Buy shoes - Footwear vendors like ASICS and Brown Shoe rely on QNX-based warehouse systems to move their products from the factory floor to the shoe store.
    16. Keep cool in the checkout line - QNX technology controls the HVAC systems in many of the biggest big-box stores in North America.
    17. Stay connected while driving - Using innovative QNX software, car infotainment systems connect seamlessly to Bluetooth phones, MP3 players, USB sticks, and a variety of other devices and services.
    18. Build a sundeck - Using QNX-based machine-vision systems, sawmill operators extract the maximum amount of lumber from every tree.
    19. Mail a letter - QNX technology helps mail-sorting machines push the performance envelope, processing up to 40,000 letters per hour.
    20. Visit the doctor - QNX technology brings reliability to a host of diagnostic devices, including ECG machines, angiography systems, cardiac monitors, and bone density analyzers.
    21. Take medicine - QNX-based vision systems scan for defects in a variety of manufactured products, from pharmaceutical blister packs to the lids of peanut butter jars.
    22. Get better - QNX-based cancer treatment devices use proton beams to target tumors precisely, without damaging nearby organs.
    23. Wash socks - A QNX-based system automatically configures control panels for washing machines and tests each panel to make sure it functions correctly.
    24. Breathe clean air - QNX-based building-automation systems help factories, universities, and other large facilities slash power consumption by up to 50%, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned for electricity.
    25. Go to college - Students and professors worldwide use QNX technology to perform medical research, explore new forms of energy generation, and even discover new planets.
    26. See better - Using a QNX-based LASIK system, doctors perform bladeless laser surgery to help people reduce their dependency on glasses and contact lenses.
    27. Buy a book - Bookstores throughout North America rely on QNX-based point-of-sale systems to deliver highly personalized service to their customers.
    28. Play video poker - QNX technology powers intercasino gaming systems that can pay out multi-million-dollar winnings, with zero tolerance for error.
    29. Drive over a bridge - QNX technology helps reduce drawbridge congestion by controlling automated bridge raising systems.
    30. Go for a digital drive - QNX-based digital instrument clusters are changing the face of in-car computing, combining virtual speedometers with navigation displays, backup cameras, and other content to provide drivers with the most appropriate information for every drive mode or road condition.

    http://www.qnx.com/company/30ways/
  • Reply 18 of 37
    xburkxburk Posts: 2member
    Figures an Apple site would write this. BB10 may take a while to catch on, but when it does, Apple has nothing in them. Look at any Z30 comparison test with Apple 5s and BB10. BB10 wins hands down. So many ignorant people that won't look past the B.S on the Internet.
  • Reply 19 of 37
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member

    "Beleaguered Blackberry"

     

    I like it! Much better alliteration than the previous "beleaguered" catch-phrase...

  • Reply 20 of 37
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    pdq2 wrote: »
    "Beleaguered Blackberry"

    I like it! Much better alliteration than the previous "beleaguered" catch-phrase...

    I wonder if Blackberry will become a verb like blackberried or blackburied much like the term Osborne Effect came from Obsorne's poor decision.
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