When it comes to choosing a smartphone platform, there are factors to think about. If there is one disadvantage that BlackBerry has compared to Android and iOS is the lack of native apps available for the platform. Sure you can run Android apps but at the same time we’re sure that BlackBerry 10 users would prefer if developers were to create apps optimized for the platform, right? Well apparently to John Chen, perhaps apps might not necessarily be that important after all.
STEVE JOBS DID IT at Apple AAPL -0.01%. Lou Gerstner and Sam Palmisano did it at IBM IBM +0.3%. But tech turnarounds are rare. John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry since November, is trying again. BlackBerry is Chen’s second major turnaround attempt. His first was Sybase, a database pioneer that had been crushed by Oracle ORCL +0.61%. Chen came in, found a niche in mobile data and sold Sybase to SAP in 2010 for $5.8 billion. I had lunch with Chen in January to talk about his plans to fix BlackBerry. Why attempt this? I thought the world would be better off with a strong BlackBerry. You know, the company has 44,000 patents. And I thought it might be a fixable thing. It will be a difficult challenge, but if it were going to be easy, why do it?