BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been having a busy few days at CES and has been spending a lot of time with the press and media organizations. Kevin sat down with him yesterday to discuss everything and we'll have up that up for you all in bit here. In the meantime though, we figured we'd do a bit of a round-up as well to cover some of things he's been addressing while at CES.
- Dropping the 'interim' - If you've been reading the press releases you may have already caught this one but the interim title is gone. John Chen has noted that he'll be staying with the company until it is financially and strategically sound. Something he expects to have happen in the next 18 months with the goal of being profitable by fiscal 2016. The search for a CEO is over.
- Foxconn and their role - "For emerging markets, BlackBerry will let Foxconn take a bigger role. But we will do the next set of cool phones." That allows BlackBerry to better focus on software while Foxconn can deal with the hardware portion while reducing inventory risk and getting better pricing on components.
- At least two smartphones hitting the market this year - During a media round table Chen spoke of two new devices for this year. The already noted BlackBerry 'Jakarta' being built by Foxconn that will be priced under $200 and a high-end BlackBerry with a QWERTY keyboard built in-house by BlackBerry.
- The Samsung Knox threat - Chen isn’t underestimating Samsung and their Knox security suite. "If they deliver on what they say, they're a legitimate threat," he said.
- The consumer market - "We're not retreating from the consumer business," Chen said. A bit obvious considering the devices they're working on but in case there was any doubt, there it is plain and simple.
Some of the stuff noted is new information such as the pricing mention for the first Foxconn built device. Some of it is stuff that has been said before and is just being reiterated again. No matter how you look at though, John Chen is bringing some life to BlackBerry discussions and there is plenty of people out there who like what he has to say.