BlackBerry’s decision to remain in the handset market, despite failing to turn a profit for years and having lost almost all of its market share, could be seen as either denial or perseverance, but whatever it is, the company may have finally run out of it. At a conference in California yesterday, CEO John Chen said that it’s very possible that his company will exit the handset market if it can’t turn a profit next year, something that he’s hinted at previously.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Thursday that the long-struggling company that pioneered the smartphone would consider exiting the handset business in a year if it’s not profitable. Chen had previously said that he would consider exiting the handset business if he couldn’t make money, but declined to provide a timeline. Even as the company announced plans to ship the next generation of BlackBerry phones that meet government security standards, Chen said that the “business case” would determine whether the Canadian company would make any subsequent devices. “I’m in the handset business because I believe there’s value added and a market that is underserved,” Chen said Thursday at the Code/Mobile conference at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, Calif. The plain-spoken and sometimes provocative Chen delivered the sober assessment even as he showed off the new Android-powered BlackBerry. The company plans to launch the Priv later this year, a smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, running the Google-sanctioned flavor of Android.
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