BlackBerry CEO John Chen: 'I think it’s a pretty big deal if we could save BlackBerry'

By Adam Zeis on 24 Feb 2014 05:01 pm EST
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Since becoming CEO of BlackBerry we've already seen some bold moves from John Chen. He dug in right from the start and began making changes in hopes of turning around BlackBerry and getting things back on track for the long haul. He has a vision for what needs to be done, and so far he's done a great job of executing. There's still a long way to go, but John Chen has the company pointed in the right direction.

When Prem Watsa first met with John Chen last year, Chen said he wasn't looking for a job, but he also didn't want BlackBerry to fail. "This is an icon in the business," said Chen "and it really needs to survive. It doesn’t need to die." After turning around Sybase Inc. and then selling it to SAP AG for $5.8 billion in 2010, Chen was an obvious choice for such a grand undertaking in turning around BlackBerry.

Chen has a vision for where to take the company, and when he's moving forward with a plan he can't be deterred. 

"If I’m in the mode of seeking ideas and advice, I’m very receptive. If I am already in execution mode, I’m not really that receptive. Because I am a believer that you could design something to death, and you would have not only missed the market, you would actually miss getting anything done.”

He's focusing on winning back the core enterprise customers first. He's done so by instilling confidence in both customers and employees. Chen has made it clear that BlackBerry isn't for sale anymore and has plenty of cash to move forward.

He isn't denying that BlackBerry isn't in the greatest of places, but he's not dwelling on it either. He also knows that if the enterprise base sinks much lower, “they’re going to have a real problem."

“I’ll tell you, there are pain points every day. If this could be done, it would put a statement in the world. I think it’s a pretty big deal if we could save BlackBerry.”

One of the big things for Chen is accountability. He says that BlackBerry has a bad history of "overpromising and underdelivering". Deadlines came and went and there was no coordination or quality control.  “I realize that the company has some credibility gaps,” he says. Wireless carriers told him, “‘We’d love to help you out, but there are some things that you have to get done right."

In the end, Chen's plan is to take BlackBerry from a handset-selling “mobile technology company” to “a mobile solution company” that serves a broad range of mobile computing needs for customers. For now BlackBerry will remain in the handset business, but over time, that very well may change. Chen says, "The question is, Do we need to be in the device business? That remains to be seen.”

212 comments

Tater Tots

Interesting...

Posted via CB10

mandony

In the long range, this does not look good for faithful users of BB phones.
"Chen says, "The question is, Do we need to be in the device business? "

It seems to me, for successful BES, with high security, the BB phone is an essential tool, not to be ignored.
So, when we look at all the in-work BB goodies posted on CB, it is all for naught.

Tater Tots

Could also mean that they just make the os and distribute it to companies and they make the phones. In essence, they wouldn't be in the device business but in the making of the software for devices.

Posted via CB10

Fiddle Deedee

That was the way I took the statement.

Posted via CB10

edriss

I will also take it the way it was written (worst case scenario), and that would be a sad day.

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

mandony

Ah, could be. After all they already connected with Foxconn.

thecsman

You cannot put a secure OS in a phone that may have its hardware compromised. BlackBerry has to stay tight controlling both hardware and software for a credible secure solution.

Posted via CB10

cwalt2166

The Foxconn deal negates that wish

FunktasticLucky

The Foxconn is for low end phones. Not enterprise where security is an issue.

Posted via CB10

AidenSurvival

You're stupid. Blackberry uses the same hardware as any other hardware manufacturer.

Posted via CB10

thecsman

Definitely touched some small man nerve there. We'll see how it plays in the not so far future for BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

niss63

Knock off the personal attacks.

Posted via CB10

tayl0rd

So they would be taking the route Google took with Android OS. It has served Google quite well, but I wouldn't really want to see BlackBerry go that way. They would surely fragment themselves out of business. Worst case scenario, BlackBerry fizzles down to nothing more than an "app suite" that runs on multiple devices.

Whyareallthegoodnamestaken

Indeed...sounds rather ominous.

Posted via CB10

Puz_zled

Yeah, Mad TV, uh I mean Fox Business news did an interview with John Chen, I presume at MWC that sounded MUCH more upbeat and positive than this article does. Really Adam? This sounds more like it was written for iMore or....gasp....BGR! Could we please NEVER put the words "BlackBerry" and "save" in the same sentence ever.........damn.

Posted via CB10

rdgroulx

Assembling phones is a commodity now. Chips from Qualcomm, memory from Crucial or Kingston, LCD from LG or Samsung, etc.

You design and some cheap labor will glue together. They are already out of the hardest business, Apple never was. Who cares who glued the parts together. The important is the what runs it. Same goes for cloud services, we don't care about the machines anymore, it's the UI and the software that matter.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

makaiman

Excellent.

Posted via CB10

ablefunzo

That was a good way to put it. There is too high cost of assembling phones in Canada. The real work is designing hardware and the software.

Posted via CB10

Anilu7

If we watch the Bloomberg interview from Jan 6 at CES, [url]http://www.bloomberg.com/video/chen-foxconn-will-help-us-in-emerging-mar... Chen said that BlackBerry was returning to its roots in keyboards. He wouldn't commit long-term but no responsible CEO would. I think this is being blown out of proportion.

jojo beaconsfield

Interesting,but when did he say all this,I think quite a while ago,maybe I'm wrong,but sounds pretty familiar.

axllebeer

So do I. :)

Posted with my CB10 using the power of " Q "

Kyle27

Great article. Long read, but definitely worth it! The more I hear from Chen, the more I like him.

bbfanatic11

I thought the same thing!

Posted via CB10

crazycanuck329

Long read? Really? Not enough pictures for you to look at? lol

dejanh

I was thinking the same thing... :|

Posted via CB10

HenryZ10

Lol yup

Posted via CB10

rocah360

Well, the interview goes over five pages, that is quite a bit for an interview. I guess you just referred to this text on crackberry, but he probably meant the source article.

crazycanuck329

You are correct. My apologies.

...we are all connected...

SalMan50

This is a silly question, but is JC the permanent CEO? I remember back in the day, them talking about him being an interim while things settle down, has that now changed?

Posted via CB10

JAS0NB0URNE

No longer interim.

Posted with my Q10 running 10.2.1.1925.

r0v3rT3N

Yes, he announced during the Earnings call in December that the interim title was removed.

casefile101

As far as I can gather he is the sort of CEO who turns around sliding companies. That's his speciality. Once (fingers crossed soon) BlackBerry has turned around and has a clear strategy I guess he will move on of his own accord. The challenge and thrill will be gone.
As Winston Churchill was an excellent war time prime minister for England, but a terrible peace time one, I suspect the same applies to CEOs

AlKuqo

I hope they still remain in the handset business. If not how will we get new BlackBerry products?

Stay Classy CrackBerry Nation!

birdman_38

We won't. I can see BlackBerry further developing the OS to licence to other manufacturers, calling it something other than "BlackBerry 11".

This would further Chen's vision of BlackBerry becoming a software & services company.

crackbrry fan

Hint? Software ,security , mobile management company? The company needs to stay in the handset business to have a true end to end solution. Perhaps less emphasis on hardware for the time being but it's very important not to sit back and allow hardware to die. I don't see why this isn't possible.

Posted via CB10

omar ayman

Great article!
Blackberry should continue with mobile business but should do it right.

Posted Via CB10 Running On Z10STL100-2 Using OS Version 10.2.1.2141

Mel25

"overpromising and underdelivering".

My heart skipped!!

This guy knows our pain just wow.

Posted via CB10

sk8er_tor

And not afraid to admit or say it.

kye2000

This means no more delays and wrong doings

Posted via my Z30 running 10.2.1

Jerale Hoard

Always nice to read his interviews.

Join my #BBM Channels C001227C, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

Posted via CB10

Iamanonymous62

"The question is, Do we need to be in the device business? That remains to be seen.”
I wonder what the Military etc. thinks when they see statements like this? Maybe it causes them to think twice about making a long term commitment to BB devices? Just a thought.

Prem WatsApp

I think he's hinting at manufacturing itself, it doesn't matter who makes them. It's the software that makes a BB10 phone a BB10 phone. If it ran on a Samsung S4, it would be a BB10 phone.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

wincyUt

Time will really tell. It seems like JC is open minded although he knows which direction he is taking BlackBerry. And that's good.

BadGoliath42

From a shareholder viewpoint, as long as the company makes money, it is a success. So I understand that diversifying their assets and energy is the way to go.

I just hope that this strategy includes staying in the device market, else CrackBerry is pretty much dead. No regular consumer cares that much about an enterprise-only company. And that would be kind of bad since for a lot of people, BlackBerry phones are what suits their needs the most.

Ah well, speculations, speculations. They will unveil new consumer phones soon, so I guess that's not in the plans right now to be a software-only company.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

ZayDub

Agreed! I definitely think they will remain in the hardware business, even if they are only a niche player. They have to have end-to-end solutions, and as they have touted on numerous occasions previously,  has the best security available, best productivity, etc; secure and productive devices reinforce this notion.

Posted via CB10

Bear7079

Overall, his comments are a bold move in their own right. He is saying that a the current business model may not fit as we move forward. and we are willing to shed that weight if/when the time is right. (at least that is my interpretation.)

za_berry

What he possibly meant, is does BlackBerry actually need.to focus on the actual manufacturing, or could that be done by a third party.
Again imo and open to lots of interpretation.

Posted from my awesome HUB enabled  Z10

BY923

Great article. Didn't know about Ellison wanting Apple back in the day with the intention of placing Chen as head. And, hey, it looks like JC uses the same phone as Kevin -- the Porsche-designed Z10!

Prem WatsApp

It's called: Eat your own dogfood!

Certainly a dogfoodable phone, that one....

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

goUSAFblue

Earlier I though JC clearly stated that they are not abandoning the handset business. And now it sounds like he isn't sure anymore. What gives?

Posted via CB10

Pete The Penguin

JC had BlackBerry abandon the handset market as soon as the ink was dry on the Foxconn deal.

birdman_38

Chen made those statements less than 48 hours after he was announced as interim CEO. He's since had time to reevaluate and now realizes there's little return in handsets.

mrjmc99

I think they are going in the right direction. On a side note my company is switching from in house exchange to full office 365, in one of their knowledge sessions with our it group the Microsoft rep said bes with BB10 was the best eas experience, followed by IOS 6, (7 is busted), some windows phones then some android devices. Our company had over 1500 bbos devices a few years ago, I just switched from my 9930 a few months ago, they still won't install bes 10 at my company though. Makes me mad more and more each day. I think from an adoption point of view making bes 10 a separate product was a big mistake. They should have made bes5 and 10 the same application and have it support both, or an add on to the existing bes product. Then my company probably would have given me the option for bes on my z10

Z10STL100-4/10.2.1.2141

jhrain

1. What are they currently promising?
2. I wonder what the promised Carrriers?

I am hopeful. But, slowly starting to look at alternatives. My loyalty only let's me go so far. If my company decides to walk away from BlackBerry then I'm done for. That decision will be made in October. Keeping my fingers crossed they stick with them.

Posted via CB10

John Kastanes

I expect Chen to license BlackBerry OS and concentrate on enterprise. It is logical and good allocation of capital.

Z10

Jerale Hoard

"He says that BlackBerry has a bad history of "overpromising and underdelivering". "

He has a point there. BlackBerry has made a lot of promises and some of those have yet to be fulfilled.

Posted via CB10

Konfucius18

Prem knew John was the right guy and so far he's right. He's a man of action and that's what BlackBerry needs.

Posted via CB10

geraldryan

I really dont understand statements like this if you are hoping to keep your present customer base never mind win additional customers!!! Its all very fine to say that you may or may not offer future hardware but it sure leaves a lot of folk who were loyal to their hand sets wondering why did I buy this and to others who might have purchased thinking Blackberry are not sure if they will stay in the handset business. What a shambolic statement from JC.

ZayDub

I don't think they will leave the handset business entirely, although they may have a smaller niche footprint if the masses don't adopt the BB10 line of phones. However, If they were to exit the handset business, it doesn't prevent you from fully utilizing any current BB10 device. It just means you won't be able to get future smart-phone devices. It doesn't seem rational to me for a customer to forgo an intended current purchase of an already existing BB10 phone solely because blackberry may not develop new future phones. Yes, it would be a disappointment, but as long as they continue to improve the OS and support prior phones, by being a 'software' company, I see no ill effects from buying an existing phone.

Posted via CB10

Troy Tiscareno

That's because you aren't taking into consideration the investment in the BB ECOSYSTEM, vs. the ecosystem of iOS or Android, which will definitely be around. Why buy BB apps and BB media if you are going to switch ecosystems in a year or two? Why not buy the other ecosystem NOW, so that any stuff you buy in that ecosystem will continue to serve you for years to come?

Those are the questions consumers ask themselves when picking a smartphone OS/ecosystem, and that's the main reason why BB10's adoption rate is so low. Poor (and now non-existent) consumer advertising, high pricing, and other issues certainly contributed to low sales too, but the single biggest issue for BB is their weak ecosystem - by far the weakest of the Big 4.

ZayDub

I understand the ecosystem point of view, which is valid....but if BlackBerry were to not produce handsets, but instead, license BB10 for production by another manufacturer (samsung, nokia, etc) the ecosystem will still remain in tact and viable

Posted via CB10

ZayDub

Cont...if they were to transition fully to a software company. Again, I don't think this will happen, and I don't want it to, but if it did, I think there would be a viable alternative with a bb10 footprint

Posted via CB10

Troy Tiscareno

No Android manufacturer can make a BB10 phone without losing their rights to make Google-certified Android phones, and no manufacturer is going to make that choice (BB10 over Android). That's one of many reasons why BB spend a year in vain trying to find someone to license BB10.

just jack

What he us saying is that long term someone else is going to make the phone and BlackBerry will provide the software. BlackBerry will live on but you can buy it running on a Samsung or LG for example.

Posted with the Glorious Z30

JasDaHouseCat

I like you chen, dont fuck us.

Red Zed 10

kscribs

the title's wording isn't too convincing...

Posted via CB10

BBCruzer

John Chen seems to be the right person to lead BlackBerry now. He has a vision for the company and is working toward it. However, if he hopes to convince the American government and military, in addition to any other large corporate or government entities, that BlackBerry devices are the way to go, he better hold off on his musings of whether BlackBerry needs to be in the device business. Confidence about BlackBerry devices and their capabilities is what is needed now from Mr. Chen and BlackBerry executives, not gazing into the crystal ball about the future of the devices.

Posted via CB10

kscribs

That being said, Chen's been awesome so far

Posted via CB10

77khak79-77

If you don't need to be in the handset business, Mr. Chen, then why do you keep selling them? Why do you keep promising upgrades to the ones we have and not pushing carriers like Verizon to support them (they still haven't released OS 10.2 for the Q10.)? Why do you allow the rumor mill to grind out 'maybes' for possible new devices?
I, for one, am getting more than a little discouraged by the lack of concern for the end users of your hardware. I happen to like my Q10, and would love it if I could get support for it. But I'm quickly losing my affection, and am just about to dump it in favor of a company that seems to care.
It's your choice. You're in the driver's seat and you can take the company whichever direction you choose. If that is to forget about us, your hardware users, so be it. But it would be nice if you'd just say so instead of holding out empty promises.

Posted via CB10

XamiDami

I'm a little bit confused by this. Why does he keep selling them? Because it's a way to make money. Why are there rumours? How can that be attributed to John Chen? Do you think he has a direct private line to some of the forum members and he leaks the renders and specs himself?

Lastly, do we even know why the update from your carrier is taking so long? Many people around the world have gotten the latest update, so maybe, just maybe, the incompetence in this particular is not attributable to Blackberry. Also, if you really can't wait for your carrier, get an autoloader. Issue resolved.

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

BlackberryFan777

Absolutely BlackBerry needs to remain in the device business. The *only* reason why anyone buys BES10 is if they have an existing deployment of BlackBerry devices. If they are BYOD or iOS-only, they use a different solution.

Chen may please Prem Watsa by reassuring him that BlackBerry's enterprise customers are here to stay, but that's just wrong. They are barely classifiable as existing customers. There's a reason why the PlayBook and BB10 devices sold primarily to enthusiasts. Mike L. and Thorstein correctly saw that "enterprise" was no longer a workable market definition. Let's hope that Chen hasn't bet the whole company on an incorrect premise... but if looks like he's close to doing just that.

Posted via CB10

Pete The Penguin

I'm getting concerned that JC may be betting the farm on something he knows will never deliver.

Come October, I doubt I'll be buying a new BlackBerry 10 phone.

paulmike83

If someone can admit their faults that means they can also take action to correct them to. Hopefully for BlackBerry 's sake anyway.

Team BlackBerry

Fnen90

Thorsten had the company in the right direction too...uhmmm

Posted via CB10

Slash82

I might only be a small consumer for BlackBerry, but my heart would break if they would stop selling mobile handset devices!

I have been using Blackberry devices since 2005 and could NEVER think about having anything different!

I don't want an iPhone and I don't want Android!

I respect the other plattforms - but I love Blackberry!

Posted via CB10

nhanken

You are a true CrackBerrian~!

Posted via CB10

XamiDami

Ubuntu OS is coming soon. Maybe you wanna try that, or Windows Phone

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

Prem WatsApp

I got Ubuntu on my Nexus 4. The swipes are good, no buttons, but by far not as elegant and quick to execute as anything on BB10. Still in beta.

It's suffering from the same issue, apps. The usual thing will happen, import Ubuntu Linux desktop apps, and / or install Android apps (ports, if you like to call it a port in that case), go dual-boot or the Ubuntu-for-Android way (sort of a hybrid).

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

iNeoEon

Beyond all this talking, make some thinking: How could be BlackBerry worth just 5.8 billion $ while Whatsapp got bought for 19 billion $. Thing is, IT business does not follows special rules, it just knows how to be nonsense.

Me?! I keep movin'!

allwi

Ouch! From a CEO I expect more confidence than 'if we could ...'

Sounds like - the company will die but we will get a much cash out of it as possible before this happens ...

Prem WatsApp

I read it that way: he sees the challenge is still there, and he simply acknowledges that fact.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

huungryshark

I read it that way " it would be a wonder if blackberry could be saved, but it is possible "

Z10_STL100-2_10.2.1. 2141/2142

allwi

:) Happy with both the interpretations - I'm always a bit pessimistic ;)

jsrogers

I would really like to use the technology off blackberry on a Sony device and tablet!

Posted via CB10

qbo

I like how he admits that bb have credibility issues.

peter0328

Stop saying you may leave the device/handset business! It's ruining all customer loyalty and brand power. People think you won't be around so they don't care.

BlackBerry needs to stay in the device business. It can be part of their large diversification and goals but it must be there and they must be flagship quality while also having decides for emerging markets.

Phones are used everyday and are social objects. People talk about them. They show them off to friends and coworkers. They marker the brand.

If BlackBerry just exists in enterprise and cars, no person is going to say to their friends "wow I love my work's mobile device management!" or "BlackBerry QNX really makes myFord Touch great!"

Stop saying things that are killing the company and cause uncertainty and doubt!

Posted via CB10

henry256

Fix my Facebook account settings

Posted via CB10

geraldryan

Must admit I find JCs statement totally baffling to most customers of BlackBerry and certainly in my opinion would certainly put off a lot of perspective customers from buying any of their phones. Once again I find his statement to be incredibly damaging to the brand.

Posted via CB10

Always smiling

See I read his comment totally different.

I read it to mean that they MAY not manufacture or assemble devices in house any longer. They MAY outsource all their handsets to another company like Foxconn.

What do I do know is that everyone has their own interpretation and read on someone's else's statement.

Just think of your wife asking the question "Honey does this outfit make me look fat?". How you answer the question will depend if you get a cold shoulder or a kiss. Even if you say "you look great!"it can be taken in the wrong manner.

Only time will tell.

Cheers!

hassan boutabssil

An interview which makes me confuse about the futur of BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

blgsllmtim

I believe Chen is the best person at this time to lead campaign. He is very disciplined and grounded. Analytical and pragmatic. What I do not hear him speaking more about is Marketing, which many are crying out for. Further he speaks to the point about credibility, however those using Q10 are still waiting for o/s 10.2.1 (which was suppose to be out to all this month [4 days to go]). In a time when multi-tasking is the word of today, BlackBerry should to go for the Enterprise, but the loyal consumers and future consumers are the ones who spread the cheer and excitement. Restructuring and growth takes time, but time is not a friend these days and its time to make it rain BlackBerry all over the place.

jscaustx

I was a bit surprised and taken back when JC said "Do we need to be in the device business. That remains to be seen". What?!? Last month(I think), he gave us the impression that the low end devices will be manufactured by Foxcomm for the next five years, BB will focus entirely on high end devices and vice versa. What made him say that now if he made it sound like Foxcomm and BB were seriously committed in the first place? Just saying. Despite the fact that I know what he said is open to lots of interpretations but still. Well, maybe I jumped the guns, and I am pretty sure I am not the only one. We will see what he has in store for us tomorrow morning. Some amazing stuff, I hope! *fingers crossed*

Prem WatsApp

It always remains to be seen, whatever thing you touch, sell or market, if it remains profitable or not.
I wouldn't put too much into it.

Even for Apple or Microsoft. Anyone remember the Zune player? What will happen to Windows RT? The 17 inch MacBook Pro? I wanted one, but line was discontinued then (refurb no thanks).

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

rickster2611

BlackBerry does need to be in the device business but the way BlackBerry has now been structured with four separate divisions Mr Chen is thinking of outsourcing the entire device department to Foxconn .

Although it may be seen as a short term solution it may cost BlackBerry in the long run.

The way that the agreement with Foxconn is laid out is that BlackBerry has the final say on devices but the risk is all on Foxconn .

This means Foxconn can't afford to create substandard devices and pass them off as Blackberries .

BlackBerry has the final say on quality.

BlackBerry must to be vigilant on quality of devices coming out of Foxconn.

Under promise and over deliver Mr Chen

BlackBerry...Get it done

Posted via CB10

xBURK

As long as the next five or so BlackBerry devices show a sales improvement over the first BB10 offerings, I have little doubt they will continue producing them. He has to be open minded and let investors know he is up for change if needed. From every account, he is going to do his best with the upcoming offerings. The carrier relations and marketing are key here.
Mr. Chen has a huge hill, but I don't think BlackBerry fans could have hoped for a better scenario than this. Just search BlackBerry news on the Web today. 90 percent of the stories are positive. Three short months ago, it was the opposite.

Posted via CB10

savingblackberry

Chen is finally doing what I have been saying for more than 3 years. Only if Mike, Jim and TH had listened to me.

oddboy

I'd would prefer to see blackberry stay in the device business, but that's not my call. As long as I can get bb10+ on high quality hardware, I'll manage. It's really the OS and software that matters most (to me).

I love my BlackBerry!

And I'm glad Mr. Chen is on board. So far, he's making good moves. Let's see how it plays out.

kojita

So where did the interview took place? No intro ?

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

alan510

This was an interview given to the Globe and Mail. CB should be crediting the source. Otherwise it looks plagiarised.

m1kr0

I previously said I liked this guy and I again say that I like this guy.

Posted via CB10

nabil114

Oh well! "If I’m in the mode of seeking ideas and advice, I’m very receptive. If I am already in execution mode, I’m not really that receptive. Because I am a believer that you could design something to death, and you would have not only missed the market, you would actually miss getting anything done.”

BigMont86

Is this a new interview with John Chen or is Adam referencing old interviews with John Chen for this article?

Posted via CB10

alan510

It's out of today's Globe and Mail in Canada. Tsk, Tsk, Adam. Give credit where credit is due.

jojo beaconsfield

@BigMont86...I'm with you and commented above that this is old news,why disect an old interview and not state that it was.I wonder sometimes what CB wants to accomplish..

trsbbs

More confusing/concerning dribble. Nothing concrete. If's and maybes.

Time to lay out the plan JC.

JC is starting to concern me. Doesn't seem focused and in touch.

CB10 via Verizon Z10. 10.2.1.1925

EchoesFX

If the carriers wanted to help them out, here's an idea: Tell your employees NOT to actively discourage customers from purchasing a BlackBerry device, and refrain from disparaging remarks.

Being professional does not cost more money.

Posted via CB10

xBURK

Good point, lol.

Posted via CB10

lnichols

Hmmm. Maybe good the Z30 didn't release on more carriers. Sounds like they have no confidence in the hardware business surviving.

Posted via CB10

celticmagick

I see BlackBerry as pre-iOS Apple - that is to say, they are below the mainstream radar despite making an excellent and professional product. I think if there are more iPhone swap out challenges out there more and more people would reconsider BlackBerry. Perhaps a new marketing campaign or a new feature or device (like the iPod was for Apple) would rock the drone boat - something more than just BBM (as great as it is, there's just too much competition out there to rely on it alone).

I hope BlackBerry continues making their own products but if it means the survivability of the company to stick with OS only, then so be it. I look forward to seeing what's to come for BlackBerry and hope for a very successful future. I, for one, will continue using their products/services.

bap3221

Advertising, advertising, advertising! Give reasons as why you should go to blackberry. Longer battery life, typing (no spell mistakes). Be aggreeive like samsung is with apple

Posted via CB10

Pete The Penguin

it's telling that Chen says "if".
Either way, he's getting paid and still hasn't moved to Waterloo; I'm doubting his commitment to BlackBerry.

Let's see what the rest of the year brings...

nucks26

Don't stop making software OR hardware blackberry!!! You guys are the best!

Posted via CB10 for Z10

AndreyLepher

I Have a Android Device , but i would be really really sad if BlackBerry goin Out from Mobile market , so sad , i wanna keep buyin My BlackBerry Phones !!

Posted via My Amazing Galaxy Note 3 white N9005 On CrackBerry App!

christoph77

He is such a great CEO.. amazing stuff he has already realised in such short period of time.

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

BerryRipe

My thoughts regarding Mr. Chen expressing the iconic of the BlackBerry brand goes to show that he plans to keep the handsets alive but I don't see how that's possible at least in the US.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

nosco47

If they leave the device business so be it.

If BlackBerry was a software only company and had other company's like LG, HTC, Samsung, etc running BB10 are we really loosing anything? I personally don't think so.

After all the software is why we really use the device.

Posted via CB10

WPMan_Canada

They can always have someone else make all the hardware to their specs. They can still lead the design and let a volume manufacturer build it cheaper then they could. That would still be considered and end to end solution.

Posted via CB10

Prem WatsApp

End-to-end solution @ Infinite Loop? (pun intended)

Their stuff is made in China, "designed in California", and no one really complains.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

BB10user07

"Pretty big deal if we could save bb.." Not sure if he is confident that it could be done.

Posted via CB10

arfin

Déjà vu

Posted via CB10

miktro

All is I have to say is John and his team better realy step it up. Looking at all the cool stuff coming out of mobile world samsungs new s5 looks pretty sweet hardware wise and software . This is what blackBerry needs spec like the s5.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

oakvillerelopro

Vision+ Execution = Blackberry in the future. I like what he is doing.

Posted via My rocking Droidberry Z30 on CB Forums

stlscott18

Didn't they just sign Ford?!?!

Posted via CB10

DSS900

JC's comment about whether BlackBerry needs to be on the device business or not remains to be seen could have been a message to the carriers to just give blackberry a clear message, like "We support BlackBerry and are going to do what we can to promote BlackBerry devices now that you've got some decent hardware, or no, we want nothing to do with BlackBerry". Seems to me a lot of carriers are just sitting on the fence and need to make a commitment one way or another.

Posted via CB10

arfin

Ceo doesn't even know if BlackBerry will continue selling devices... that's great news

Posted via CB10

tjseaman

The choice of word "could" instead of "can" doesn't seem to sound overly positive to me.

Posted via CB10

TheMacDaddyTJ

I agree. That stood out for me too

Posted via CB10

Turnda643

Ya know, I just like this guy. No doubt he will turn the company around.

Subscribe to Tri County Catering and Party Idea Channel. Pin #C00123065

MarkyZ10

Must be a lot of CEO's commenting here, because you all of you seem to have the answers on how to fix blackberry.

Posted via CB10

XamiDami

You're so right.

"Advertising is the answer"

"Blackberry needs a high-spec phone like the S5"

If only stupid John Chen would read these comments, he could save the company tomorrow. Saving Blackberry is so straight forward.

Disclaimer: For those unable to detect, I'm being 100% sarcastic.

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

XamiDami

I'm sort of surprised that more people in the comments section aren't happy that Blackberry may be leaving the device industry. I've been a CB reader for a long time and I remember when lots of the community members thought that abandoning the device business was the only way for Blackberry to survive.

Can Blackberry survive without devices? Absolutely, but obviously not as a regular consumer's product.

The thought that BB10 (and future builds of BB10) can survive without Blackberry handsets is really the epitome of wishful thinking. Unless Android undergoes a major (and publisized) breach, there's no way manufacturers will abandon the platform. It's long been rumored that, because of security concerns, Samsung wants to leave Android. However, it would appear they are more likely to to either build their own OS in-house or outsource that project to a reputable company. Why didn't they just make the switch to BB10? Because the name Blackberry is toxic. Forget how good BB10 is, forget that QNX is an industry leader, all that matters in that the average Joe thinks that Blackberry is already dead and all the movings at BBHQ are part of a long-standing elaborate practical joke.

So, best case scenario, I want to see a future where BB10 (BB11?) handsets are still made. As a security-conscious consumer, that's what I want. And worst case scenario, the company survives as a enterprise-only business and I (with all the sadness and regret in my heart), make the switch to Windows Phone.

Don't make me do it, Blackberry. Switching from BB10 to Windows Phone is like being forced to eat sardines everyday for the rest of my life. Sure, I'll like it for the first week, but after that I'll be contemplating seppuku.

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

Troy Tiscareno

Just so you know, Samsung recently signed a 10 year contract with Google which not only reaffirms Samsung's commitment to Android, but also got Samsung to agree to stop replacing Android apps with Samsung's apps (Calendar, Contacts, etc.) and to further lighten TouchWiz. Samsung has, as a result, refocused Tizen development away from smartphones and tablets, and more towards other devices, such as their new Galaxy Gear smartwatch. In other words, Samsung is now more committed to Android than ever, and will be more "stock Android" than ever before.

XamiDami

Which only adds to my point. No OEMs will adopt BB10 if Blackberry stop making devices. I see people on here saying they "don't mind if Blackberry stops making phones if LG, HTC, Samsung, etc. adopt BB10"

That's not happening, guys. Fact: BB10 will only survive on Blackberry handsets.

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

Troy Tiscareno

I agree. BB spent a year looking for someone to license BB10 to. No one was interested, especially given the fact that they'd have to give up their ability to make Google-certified Android phones in order to make BB10 phones, since BB10 contained non-Google-certified Android components, which Open Handset Alliance members aren't allowed to make.

Even the worst-performing Android phone make is selling a lot more phones than BB is selling BB10 phones, so there's no way any of them are going to dump Android for BB10.

crackattacker

I don't ever want to see the day that I can't upgrade to the next BlackBerry model. I love my Z10!!!!

Posted via CB10

adonesc

Well I hope he saves BlackBerry and more. I also think that they should remain in the handset business.

Remember, Apple was very much in its deaththrows and close to exiting the market altogether. I don't know if it ever got bad as what BlackBerry is going through now, but it didn't look good for quite a long while.

Even after Jobs returned to helm the company once more, it took a few years until he whipped Apple back in shape...

We can only hope Mr. Chen can do the same. I would wish and hope though that he and the company don't poop on all BlackBerry handset users! Please oh please don't pull a PlayBook on us once again!

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!

unbreakablej

I agree! He is delivering without much fanfare! Nowadays when something is announced, it is already here!

Posted via CB10

TrueKulcha

Starting to be too much talk

Posted via CB10

TheMacDaddyTJ

If BlackBerry isn't in (doesn't remain in...) the device business, then why should we care if they survive? I mean a business needs to survive but if that means abandoning a significant market responsible for keeping them afloat in the first place then I don't know why we should continue to care about their future?

Posted via CB10

lou2969

I did like the interview...
But..... i still think that BlackBerry
Needs a good publicity, good commercials, I was blown away
During the olimpics with the bell and Samsung phone
Now tell me who didn't watch the
Olimpics?????
My daughter. 11 years old. Told me
That that's the phone she wants when is older enough (of course I was #$)?@?) and I said that that phone is not good...
I haven't seen a decent commercial about BlackBerry so far.. how
The message will be delivered to those who don't know BlackBerry?

Posted via CB10

xBURK

Before some of you go on the hate Mr. Chen bandwagon, read the entire article. (link below)
If after that, then so be it. I don't think it's wise to figure out someone's plan by a few words read here and there.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/john-chen...

Posted via CB10

AtInsider

xBURK, awesome find. Everybody should read the entire article. Mr. Chen is the man to turn BBRY around and some.
Thanks for the link.

nt300

At this point BlackBerry has no choice but to be in the handset business. For now and into the foreseeable future. Forget about being in a only software business. At this point that won't work. You need both.
BBRY announcing anything regarding not making hardware would not only drive the stock price down, but also drive the company I to bankrupcy.

At this point Mr. Chen is doing a great job. Keep pumping out hardware, keep launch dates on track, pump up marketing etc,. Looking forward to that rumoured Z50 Octa-Core 64-bit monster via Sept 2014. That device alone with a 10.3 OS update is a consumer magnet that will dethrone the competition. This alone is a testament of how awesome the Z30 is despite the low specs, yet continues to outperform and outclass the competition.

The Z50 is combining high end 64-bit specs powered by a very elegant interface. Win/Win to ignite the consumer marker more than ever.

Drmoe

Of course they need to stay in the devices. Where the hell else would i go? Don't let us down BlackBerry!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

G-bone

Doesn't mean he doesn't want to be in the device business - he's just not married to anything.
What the market wants to hear.

#IchooseBlackBerry10

Posted via CB10

Solar 77

That last line got me worried. You know how the media spins this kind of talk.

Posted via CB10

AtInsider

+10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

joshua_sx1

"In the end, Chen's plan is to take BlackBerry from a handset-selling “mobile technology company” to “a mobile solution company” that serves a broad range of mobile computing needs for customers."

Sometimes, I wish they could speak in numbers....

Posted via CB10

jamesy77

Could either Michael or Adam Zeis from CB get us an clear interpretation on what Mr. Chen meant when he said "do we need to be in the device business, remains to be seen?) This doesn't sound too confident and statements like this could be taking out of context by these mainstream media, who loves to tarnish the Blackberry brand and my goodness, we don't need anymore of that. The main focus is to get people on the ground to do more workshops in presenting the BES10 to the carriers and consumers, and not just throw your hands up in the air, and surrender. The biggest issue is marketing the BES10 phones and not the phones itself, which blackberry did little of since they came out over a year ago. Advertisement with accountability can sell any product and then comes word of mouth, which is the ultimate advertisement, and the best part, it's free!. I wish we had an direct contact with Blackberry and the CEO, to let them know that we still want them to be in the device business and not to simply give up, without first correcting the main reason why the BB10 isn't doing too well, which like I've said earlier, marketing. If this fails (God forbid) then at least they cant say they didn't try. "Nothing beats a trial, than a failure".

Killjoyhere

Thumbs up

Posted via CB10

AtInsider

What I get from Mr. Chen's interview is he broke down the company into 4 sections, QNX, BB10 Devices, Enterprise & BBM. Awesome Move.
BlackBerry is now working hard to Gain more Enterprise customers while continuing to cater to the consumer class. The people that work for Enterprise are consumers, they will hopefully get a BB10 device, and most if not all will love it. That is where word of mouth comes from.
This word of mouth spreads like wild fire. I also love Chen's plan to target low cost BB10 devices in emerging markets all across the world. Smart Strategic Move, and give Foxconn the liability. And doing so, Foxconn is in the market to make money, the more BB10 devices they sell the more profit they make.

At the same time, BBRY benefits with accelerated BB10 adoption, by trying hard to saturate BB10 into strong BBRY markets. And doing all this while still maintaining the North American Consumers by way of mid to high end devices and consistent and successful BB10 updates.

Mr. Chen is working to remove the negativity toward BBRY, and so far it seems to be working very well. He's rebuilding carrier relations, slowly but surely. I believe IMO, each and every quarter BBRY will do better and better.

Good times ahead for not only BlackBerry, but for the entire mobile industry. People that have never used a BlackBerry 10 Device, go and try it out, because that unique elegant OS represents the future of mobility. Going to a BB10 from a iOS for example will be very difficult to go back to iOS. BB10 has some nice innovative features, not to mention the consistent smooth flow running style of this OS. Its basically addictive in a way.

Just do some basic research and many will quickly realize, that the competition has been slowly copying not only some of BB10's features, but its iconic keyboard, BBM etc. They are threatened by BlackBerry more than ever, and I am hoping the new CEO starts investigating copycats for possible future litigation.

GO BLACKBERRY 10 GO

Brian Jenness

OK I need you listen too me. BlackBerry isn't for everone
It's for someone.. Obama has one. And now me.z-10. Also. Bring back a tablet. OK in 5 years tablets will be outdated. But that's in 5 years if you are still here. Rainman

Posted via CB10

laci urbany

Means we have to quickly sell our BlackBerry and buy any android. personally only hope for me is ubuntu or jolla. Good buy BlackBerry! Pity

Posted via CB10

flyersfan76

Let me be the one person many that say the reason that us US users do not have upgraded software is because of the carriers NOT Blackberry.

Posted via CB10

Shannon Stauffer

+1

OS 10.2.1.537 on Verizon Z10

laci urbany

I am pissed off I liked this guy but now...he is giving up before he something tried.pity,pity,rip BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

xBURK

Seriously........really seriously?????

Posted via CB10

Killjoyhere

They can design their own devices if they want AND allow other manufacturers as well to produce BlackBerry phones. They can charge a premium for the phones they design which are ultra secure.

Posted via CB10

hkkelvinlee

One thing I don't like when reading the original article is BlackBerry still have corporate jet(s) and Chen got to use it/them as he still lives in California. I only hope it does not translate into daily commuting by jet, something BlackBerry is now ill afforded to do.

Posted via CB10

xBURK

Mr. Chen recently said that when he takes business trips, he uses coach.

Posted via CB10

milo53

It's true, maybe not daily, but he uses the (19 passenger Bombardier Corporate Jet) for communting purposes. Last June, that's right, last June they sold 2 jets and purchased this one. It has the range required for loser CEOs, at the time, NY-Tokyo. It's almost the size of a passenger commercial Jet. Nice carbon footprint BB.

thatplaybookguy

The Playbook fiasco killed Blackberry's street cred. That is what I feel.

abwan11

I'm sure he knows he can't change people, regardless of how good their products are. The "daily pain point" comment is also very telling, he's feeling that pinch at every turn.

Posted via CB10

laketrout73

The problem is he has to speak out of both sides of his mouth depending on who he's talking to. This interview was for the business section of the Globe and Mail so when he made the comment “The question is, do we need to be in the device business? That remains to be seen” he's talking to investors who have clamored for BlackBerry to get out of handsets for a number of years now.

But as a consumer or enterprise customer this is the worst thing he could have said. If the CEO doesn't have confidence in his product then why should anyone else? He also talked plenty about devices coming this year, so it seems he's pretty much put all the device "eggs" in two baskets - Jakarta and the next Q. I just hope he's willing to put the marketing muscle behind it to make them sell.

If Jakarta fails to sell in bunches and the next keyboard phone falls flat then that is it for BB10 phones. They can try and license it but image of BB10 will be so poisoned by then it will be hard to find a taker.

It's frustrating because BB10 phones were barely in the US market for a few months (with little or poor marketing) when the "Strategic review" happened. Advertising stopped and the only word in the press was "BlackBerry is going out of business". Of course whatever small sales they had tanked.

I was really hoping with the improvements in the OS, coupled with a new device launch, they'd take another kick at the can. I hope I'm proven wrong but it seems like that kick is going to be nothing but a soft punt.

Z10 STL100-3 |10.2.1.2141 | Bell | CB10

Airwolf05

I guess I have to look for a new phone like samsung galaxy S5

Posted via CB10

freedomx20a

Don't leave handsets!

 BlackBerry Q10 

BBrickk

Why does he sound so sceptical all of a sudden about Blackberry's future?

Posted via CB10

freedomx20a

Jc doesn't sound confident. Seems like we might be going down soon!

 BlackBerry Q10 

xBURK

My God, BlackBerry is not getting out of handsets. Stop trying to read between the lines and make complete crap.
1. Read the entire Globe and Mail article first.
2. Read this. Recent quotes from Mr Chen himself. Source: Fox Business News.

CHEN: BlackBerry will continue to be the No. 1 player for customers who care about enterprise mobility, and for individuals who want to get the most out of their smartphones to maximize their productivity, communications and collaboration. People who love their BlackBerry devices have always appreciated that their device allows them to get things done. And central to our productivity focus is our keyboard. BlackBerry has invested years of research and development to create the world’s best mobile keyboard, and that will continue to be a central, differentiating focus for us.
From a mobile enterprise perspective, BlackBerry is synonymous with security and  privacy—it is built into everything we do, and we have been doing it longer and better than anyone else in the industry. As more confidential data is taken beyond the walls of organizations with mobile devices, it is vital to ensure that mobile communications and the devices on enterprise platforms are not compromised.
For example, you may have recently seen that some enterprises in regulated industries have mandated that their employees discontinue the use of unsecure, unauditable messaging platforms. Our BBM messaging platform offers compliance features, which are especially important for customers in regulated industries including government and finance. IT managers can place controls on BBM usage, like the ability to log and archive messages, or the ability to restrict BBM usage to within the company. BBM is also the world’s first private social network, offering users greater control over personal data. The PIN infrastructure we use allows users to add contacts without sharing personal information and more importantly, our contact authentication process also requires that contacts both agree to be added. This is just one of many examples of how BlackBerry offers enterprise customers the most reliable end-to-end secure communication platform, from the device, through the network and into the server level.

Posted via CB10

AtInsider

+100000000000000000000

laci urbany

Old news...

Posted via CB10

R. John McKinley

As a owner of a z30 which I love, blackberry definitely needs to stay in the handset business. I am not a corporate user, but one who wants a high quality built phone with BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry needs not to just concentrate on corporate only, but to individuals who want a professional built blackberry phone and not a toy android phone or Iphone.

Posted via CB10

thatotherguy97

"You think" dumbass

Posted via Nexus 7 2013

musclevnl780

I hope BlackBerry never stops making phones.

Posted via CB10

stlscott18

Do you all for real think BlackBerry handsets will go away? No love in the US but that would really suck if they were no longer around. I mean what would our Government do without their BlackBerry devices? BlackBerry is an icon but I still remember my Palm Treo well with the stylus. Thing was awesome but it's been sitting in a junkyard for the past 6 years.

Posted via CB10

musclevnl780

Nexus sucks.

Posted via CB10

Skyforever

After reading the article in the Global Mail, I'm convinced John is committed 100% to BlackBerry's success. I don't get the impression John is the type of guy that will rush into making decisions rashly without proper consideration and thought. I'm sure he uses his team in brainstorming ultimately to make whatever move is possible before it is done as perfect as possible. John has said before: "What is BlackBerry without the hardware?" I'm convinced BlackBerry has the best captain possible at its' helm. If anything, I feel John is a little too honest with us when speaking about the pros and cons of "everything" BlackBerry being discussed in the boardroom. I like John Chen a lot. He is not about hype. He is about getting the best possible job done on our behalf and on behalf of BlackBerry. We as BlackBerry loyalist should be grateful and IMHO trust this man. After all he is the Best Man for Helping BlackBerry.

xBURK

Thank you.

Posted via CB10

chapa6sigma

I want to see a BlackBerry logo on my phone device. Not any other brand. Ever.

Delta Champion

quizm

But has anyone seen a concerted marketing effort? I like my phone a lot, but it will not sell itself . The news always refers to "beleaguered" BlackBerry, and even here, " saving" BlackBerry. Good that for sale signs are down, but people will not buy any uncertainty. So, can't we change the messaging? How?

Posted via CB10

milo53

He's pragmatic, that's what concerns me.

StoicEngineer

People, PLEASE read the entire G&M Exclusive before jumping to inappropriate conclusions.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/john-chen...

Others here have posted this earlier, kudos to them. I repeat it because it is important and reading the quotes in context is vital for understanding.

Posted via CB10

Prem WatsApp

Done. Enlightening.

The short quotes in the press are like reading single Bible verses or just parts of verses. Only the full chapter or book will reveal the full meaning in its context.

Same here.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

scrapmetal58

I hope they keep making devices because I don't want to have to go back to Apple, and Android isn't an option for me.

Posted via CB10

alie.tariq

My concern is that since he said "if we could save BlackBerry " there is a possibility that it may not be saved? :(

Posted via CB10

xBURK

When Mr Chen joined, there was no secret BlackBerry had to be saved. Just think about it for one sec. When you join a company that needs to be saved, there is a real possibility that it won't be. Honesty is refreshing.

Posted via CB10

AtInsider

Nobody has a crystal ball in the future. But mark my words, BlackBerry is heading upwards, because its Enterprise alone is growing for example. Have faith. Worst case, they operate as a small niche business. And that is "Worst Case". Not going to happen anytime soon or in the late future.

TimJohnSmith

Yes you need to be in the handset business. Better phones than the competition. Just getting them out while they are relevant would help.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

obermayr

Do I have to change to samsung
I don't like samsung.

Posted via CB10

AtInsider

Can we have Kevin rectify the miss-information regarding BlackBerry and the device business. PEOPLE, BlackBerry is not only sticking with its Device Business, but they are launching new and innovative BB10 devices with the proper backed marketing and advertising.

Touch Sensitive QWERTY keyboard OUCH-AWESOME. Octa-Core 64-Bit Full Touch Monster of a phone? YA BABY. Enough of the "I hope they continue in the device business" and/or "Then who will come out with BB10's?". STOP the nonsense rumours NOW.

BBRRYISBAC

How about we start a twitter/ social media campaign to get BlackBerry and Mr Chen's attention? just like with T- Mobile!we need to get these morons!(please excuse my expression! I'm very passionate about BlackBerry being successful again!) to understand how important is it to advertise! Remember! OUT OF SIGHT! OUT OF MIND!making comments like not knowing if you will continue the device end of BlackBerry is very Disheartened to hear for long time BlackBerrians like myself!

Posted via CB10

xBURK

Seriously? I thought BlackBerry users were supposed to be highly intelligent? (I guess that would explain why I'm not)

Read, read, read, read the entire Globe and Mail article. Posted a few times in these comments.

If you still think Mr. Chen is going to stop making devices after reading the ENTIRE Globe article. ......read this article.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/business-leaders/2014/02/23/blackberry-chen-p...

If that doesn't convince you, you may need medical assistance.

Posted via CB10

Naeg1995

thank you for the article .. everyone must read it please
Yes this is J Chen a leader .
I really cant find nothing negative in the article .
Blackberry wont die and is going well.
The best Ceo in the best company .
Stay tuned for bigger things from blackberry the following months .

ANTIABE

"If"? What's "if"?

Posted via CB10

xBURK

911, what's you're emergency please?

Posted via CB10

New_Z10

Do we need to be in the handset business? is a categorical- no we don't need to be and likely shouldn't be..

Posted via CB10

Frank Siedler

We need BlackBerry devices!!! BlackBerry, don't stop to produce smartphones!!!

hassan boutabssil

I feel like no body around me is using BlackBerry. I feel alone

Posted via CB10

miktro

I dont think breaking the company up into pieces is really saving the company. Anyone could have done that. BlackBerry need high spec phones thats what sells Samsung has that one figured out. The more you can put in a device the better heart beat monitor s finger print scanners good specs all around . Developers are teck geeks they want specs to play with and the more gadgets the better so bring the specs and get the developers.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

J_R_TheMotorMan

"IF"..................... :|

BBW Lovers Unite- OOLONG. The Eye of The OOLONG :C00121B8B