Beleaguered BlackBerry considers exiting handset business

“BlackBerry Ltd would consider exiting its handset business if it remains unprofitable, its chief executive officer said on Wednesday, as the technology company looks to expand its corporate reach with investments, acquisitions and partnerships.,” Alastair Sharp and Nicola Leske report for Reuters.

“‘If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,’ John Chen said in an interview, adding that the time frame for such a decision was short,” Sharp and Leske report. “He would not be more specific, but said it should be possible to make money off shipments of as few as 10 million a year.”

“In a wide-ranging interview in New York, Chen acknowledged past management mistakes and said he had a long-term strategy to complement the short-term goals of staying afloat and stemming customer defections,” Sharp and Leske report. “‘You have to live short term. Maybe the prior management had the luxury to bet the world would come to it. I don’t have the luxury at all. I’m losing money and burning cash.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: DCW. Now even Chen seems to get it, too.

Related articles:
Beleaguered Blackberry to spend the next 12-18 months making a phone with a mechanical keyboard – March 28, 2014
Beleaguered BlackBerry CEO Chen belittles iPhone users as ‘wall huggers’ who carry battery-short phones – March 7, 2014
U.S. Air Force dumps beleaguered BlackBerry devices, replaces with Apple iPhones, iPads – February 22, 2014


  1. Blackberry still has an opportunity to provide a world-class email, calendar, and secure corporate communication service on iOS and Android phones if it moves quickly. However, I have a feeling it will stumble along indecisively for far too long, then fold up the mobile device tents altogether.

  2. That’s right BB, tell the world you ready to drop handsets just as they’re contemplating picking one one up. They may have some chance if they can keep this guy out of the public light.

    1. Actually, the initial Blackberries were breakthrough devices that skillfully threaded the line between early technical limitations of mobile devices and provided true useability. They were the first devices to provide robust email in your pocket and quickly became indispensable. Unfortunately, they let the iPhone distract them from their core competency and they lost focus.

      1. I agree with you. Back in the 90’s I used a Blackberry for several years in industry. E-mail on the go was a new phenom back then and it proved the vanguard of today’s portability.

        1. Indeed. Anyone launching into a spittle-flecked rant about Blackberry may be too young to remember how amazing they were in their day. It’s a bit like ranting that the Mac Plus sucks.

  3. The statement above by Chen could be the most intelligent thing I’ve heard from RIM in quite some time. Getting out of the hardware business might be the only way to save RIM. It could transform the company to a software maker only, freeing RIM to focus its assets and energy on products that could be sold to iPhone, Android and dare I say it, even Windows mobile users.

    While RIM has hung its hat on its one ubiquitous devices, that day is past. Increasingly, the handset business has become commoditized and despite Microsoft’s efforts, it’s really a two horse race. It’s simply a matter of time before Chen, RIM’s board and executive management accept that exiting the handset manufacturing business is the only way to save the company.

    While that sounds like an admission of defeat, even very healthy companies unload losing businesses and subsidiaries. (For good examples, read William Thorndike’s excellent business text, The Outsiders.)

    Perhaps then you might stop hating RIM so much and focus your venom on Samsung, Google and Microsoft.

    Isn’t hate fun?

    1. RIM was a real competitor. I admire them for that. They pulled it off for a number of years.

      Now Apple has the fake competition of the parasitic ripoff Android OS and related hardware/crapware developers. I’d rather Apple still had to compete with RIM. Sad.

  4. They deserved it. Back in 2007, they said that iPhone was a joke, and that people would still want physical keyboards. I hope they pull a Sega: Quit making hardware, and only make software no one wants.

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