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BlackBerry CEO John Chen speaks about White House talks, future devices, T-Mobile and more!

By Bla1ze on 7 Mar 2014 04:02 am EST
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BlackBerry CEO John Chen was in Santa Monica for the past two days attending Oasis: The Montgomery Summit. Aside from being a speaker at that event, he sat down with Bloomberg Television's Jon Erlichman to discuss a number of topics surrounding BlackBerry.

On the list of topics were his briefings with the White House, MDM, the changing of the company name from Research In Motion to BlackBerry, and even a little more about the T-Mobile Trade In Offer for BlackBerry customers.

It's a pretty decent interview and Bloomberg noted there should be more of it released later today, until then though you can jump below to check out the first portion of it.

Reader comments

BlackBerry CEO John Chen speaks about White House talks, future devices, T-Mobile and more!

146 Comments

There was a brief moment in time when I thought that Thorsten He is was "the Man".... I was mistaken, John Chen is "The Man"....

What you have to understand is that this John Ehrlich, or whatever his name is, from Bloomberg that interviewed Chen is a devout iTard Fanboy of the highest order out of their Fisherman Wharf office down the road from Apple in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He wanted to go all scary "Mean Girl" on Chen, but it didn't work.

This brother, Chen, is Smooth...

Keep up the good work...

CB10 from the Z30

"Devout iTard Fanboy of the highest order out of their Fisherman Wharf office down the road from Apple in the San Francisco Bay Area." hahahha love it. Worth repeating.

If there was a "Fanboy Video Game" - he would be playing at one of the highest levels...

Check out any videos, pertaining to BlackBerry, on Bloomberg with him or that oriental gal and you will see some of the most shrill "BlackBerry Bashing" in all of the media.... second only to Cramer and his whole "Cramerica Clown Posse" on CNBC and beyond.

Brother Chen will humble them all.

CB10 from the Z30

Well, Chen is every iFan's dream come true -- a BlackBerry CEO who doesn't invest in any effort to compete with Apple! Literally, aside from someone mentioning that BlackBerry will release a first world, high-end device sometime near Christmas or next year, Chen has entirely withdrawn from the mobile device market in the US. He's selling server upgrades to the government and big companies. And, of course, selling himself like crazy. But, the opportunity for BlackBerry 10 to become a top mobile platform is fading quickly...

Posted via CB10

In order for BlackBerry to be a top mobile platform, first there has to be a BlackBerry.

John Chen has reversed the "BlackBerry is DOOMED" mindset of the general business press. Now he is working on the corporate business sector as it was identified as the fastest necessary turnaround.

When the stock holders show their agreement via high stock prices, BlackBerry's attention will turn to consumers again.

There is a flow to all things.

Posted via CB10

Agreed. BlackBerry was in a simply awful position when Chen arrived. The company was collapsing because the press was beating the drums for BlackBerry's demise and declaring, it's only a matter of time. Dr. Chen saved the patient from death... he stabilized BB's condition. It will be a long time before BB recovers its old strength though. One of Chen's immediate priorities is to stop market share from diminishing abroad. Hence the Z3 from Indonesia. BB is already basically toast in the U.S. market... they're going to have to start over there anyway.

What do you think of a name change back to Research In Motion? I know Mr.Chen dismissed the whole changing names thing, and I agree. But I think it was silly to change the name in the first place. They would be correcting something that probably should not have happened. Or, is that process too expensive to justify?

The opportunity for BlackBerry 10 to become a top mobile platform came and gone already. Its been out for a year now and has continue to lose market share. I believe the current market share is a little under 3% and I don't believe you can make a comeback from such a small percentage. IMO BlackBerry will slowly become a software and enterprise company. They will honestly only lose money in the handset business as people continue to switch to other platforms. Without high specs and native app's BlackBerry will never survive making handsets as the majority of smartphone owners want high specs and native apps.

BlackBerry will survive. As a top notch OS provider. If the Americans want their playtoy so be it. They will be the losers. Every phone has its pluses and minuses including the play toy. I don't care about apps a good solid phone with security and great messaging

Posted via CB10

John Chen is doing the same thing as his predecessor Thorsten Heins. Make way for competition (especially Apple). Regardless BBRY CEO is just doing what the majority of the board wants from him to do, intentional mismanagement should be a CRIME.

You are so right. He's got a little gangsta in him. I think he's doing a great job.

Posted from Z30STA100-3/10.2.1.2141

Briefing the White House on phones.

'Coz Obama wants to upgrade his Berry, if he can't have an iPhone.

That was Chen's job. He went there as a sales rep. House call.

Chen was giving him advice whether to grab a Q10 now or hold off till the Q20 Classic hits.

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

Obama was a diehard BlackBerry user, the Secret Service had issues with this early on. I'm hoping this can be useful for BB moving forward. I'm also hopeful that the recent IOS issue and the Air Force move to Apple will be rethought, because of this.

You mean my Q10 CB signature? Yeah, starting to get tired of it, too. Might change it soon. Thanks!

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

He uses and likes his BlackBerry, but faces a lot of "iTard duress" for doing so...

His love of BlackBerry is one of the very few things we agree on...

Get him a Q20.....Now...

CB10 from the Z30

Blah, no thanks. If so most likely their next big initiative is to do credit checks on every one and the better your credit the MORE you pay for the phone... And they'll probably start taking minutes away from anyone who was in the military to give it to people who don't work.

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Chen has been talking praise of BlackBerry all over the place. #BlackBerryWorldTour

Posted from Z30STA100-3/10.2.1.2141

Nobody nose better than this guy! ;-)

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

That ended last week. Anyone with a BlackBerry device got 200 for a trade in on any phone and 250 for a new BlackBerry device.

Unfortunately, the T-Mobile CEO had to take this further by being a complete a$$.
If he truly cared about BlackBerry and the customers who complained in regards to the first Apple promo, he would have just left well enough alone. Instead he provokes the media with a bunch of smoke and mirrors. It was obvious he was going after Mr. Chen. How was BlackBerry going to do well selling refurbished phones from sales reps that don't give a crap about the company. T-Mobile not giving the actual numbers speaks volumes. I hope this doesn't go any further, but something tells me it will.

Posted via CB10

Chen offered no direct sales alternative and then got his ass kicked by the T-Mobile CEO. Chen talks big, but carries no stick.

Posted via CB10

How does anyone know who's ass was kicked? Because T-Mobile said so, in a "leaked" memo? I'm thinking T-Mobile ended up vastly overpaying for used BlackBerry devices, possibly many of which were not even active, that were turned in for upgrades that were never going to be upgraded to a BlackBerry anyway. Perhaps its T-Mobile that feels salty and have to resort to unsubstantiated "leaked" memos....

IF your  didn't have a cracked screen, turned on AND showed no water damage with the stupid pink button. I had my BOLD 9700 for years went to trade it in to get my son his first phone. No go. "Water damage" - the phone works fine.... Why do they care it's going in the trash anyway? PS the reps at TMO are clueless.

 BBZ10 10.2.1.1925

If you're in the app, you may not see the video because of how Bloomberg uses their embed codes. Just open the post in your browser or hit the link as suggested.

So that it works in the app is it possible to just include the source link? Or will that not work either?

Proudly posted with a Z30 via CB10

I didn't see the video through the app either. I did try the "discuss a number of topics" hyperlink, which brought me to a web page, but still no go on the video. But it came up and played just fine on my PlayBook today.

Chen is great. I'm waiting on BBRY for now though. I'm really worried about the next quarter numbers. I think the initial honeymoon period with the new management team is over. Investors will be looking to see if BBRY is selling more OS10 devices. I don't think it is.

And I don't understand what Chen is talking about. BBM is awesome. The other stuff? Server software? Can BBRY make it that much better?

His joke shows his Chinese background. Americans would never rename their lower achieving child. They would convince them they are "special" and the "greatest."

You are correct to wait on BlackBerry. Chen is selling to enterprise because it's generally far easier to get existing customers to upgrade than it is to convince new customers to pull the trigger. But, Chen doesn't understand the American market. Enterprise and government only use BES if they deploy BlackBerry devices and they only want BlackBerry devices if their people want the devices. And they don't. Mike L. and Thorstein tried to respond to this in the long run by offering BB10, but the devices just didn't capture the imagination. Chen seems like he's trying to ignore the problem by focusing on better sales and I predict he'll get profitable in the short run by doing that... but, the price may be giving up any chance for greatness in the future. There is no way Chen should be satisfied with the device offerings available in North America. The Z30 is exclusive to Verizon in the US and beyond that the catalogue isn't getting any newer. Thor's plan was to continue to build BB10. Chen is not competing at all for market share. Not, at all.

Posted via CB10

"His joke shows his Chinese background. Americans would never rename their lower achieving child. They would convince them they are "special" and the "greatest."

John Chen said, he would have kept RIM and not renamed it Blackberry. And as an analogy, he said that if you have a son that does not do good, you don't go renaming your son...You did not understand the analogy.

nothing to do with a chinese background.

Did he speak about the fact that his premium device with phisical keybord Q10 (and maybe the most expensive) is suffering oof an epidemic problem just on the keyboard? Look on the Q10 forum to see the level of the problem and the level of bberry support....frankly speaking I am annoyed by this "strategical" talks when the executioon remains so poor

Sent from a loyal bberry customer since 2007 and owner of two Q10, both with DOUBLE TYPING ISSUE !

Posted via CB10

I had those issues on many BlackBerry devices as well, so when z10 came I bought it, I would still like a keyboard device but i had those keyboard issues with past 4 out of 5 phones.

Posted via CB10

Double typing issue: you pres "o" and you get "oo", "i" and you get "ii"....very funny since people is choosing Q10 expecially for the keyboard. on Q10 forum there are 330 comments of unhappy customers

Posted via CB10

Let me guess, of the 330 comments, one third are "I have no problems, must be you.", one third have nothing to do with the keyboard at all, and the remaining are complaint comments most of which are from the same 4 or 5 posters and most of those negative comments are justs rants not even looking for any kind of constructive solution to their issue. So, I highly doubt its 330 comments of unhappy customers.

I'll have to check the forums for issues on the Q10. I haven't personally heard or had issues with mine or from friends who have it. The absolutely love it.

I just wish I had the swipe up function (for the words) with the physical keyboard like on the Z10. Maybe make the frets sensitive? Dunno, how but if I could have both I'll be in heaven.

Posted via CB using my Q10

Have you got word prediction on? Tap to insert, works well on the Q10. A line with 3 suggestions just above the keyboard.

Some everyday repetitive stuff, it's like it memorizes it, your finger won't leave the spot until the message has been tapped to completion. Even faster than flicking.

No Q10? -> Buy from Chen...

Just watched it instead of posting silly "First" without knowing what the article is about. LOL. Glad I did. Now the spot is gone, nevermind. ;-)

The jokes are great, people should just not make too much out of off-the-cuff remarks, like what happened with his comment about selling BBM for the price Facebook paid for WhatsApp. "He's gonna sell BBM!" That's not what he said....

Great he can keep stuff confidential, and doesn't fall for the interviewer's trap. Secure and confidential. Just like our BlackBerry devices.

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

Every interview he does makes it clear he has no interest at all in consumer mobile - which is a good thing.

The strategy is to make some cash before tackling the finicky, volatile consumer markets.

That's how I read it. Advertising in the consumer sphere now will cost too much money. Let them work on enterprise now, and let them get the killer devices ready before targeting consumers again. I am talking about the "cool phone", you know. ;-)

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

He's focusing on their strengths, which is a good thing. Once they've got a defensible position there, then they can start looking at other markets.

Posted via CB10

Chen seems at ease and is a pleasant personality. The interviewer seems so humorless and severe- like he's interrogating someone.

You know what Guys?.. I don't really care a lot about how good Mr. Chen is at managing BlackBerry... yes, he's really a rock star and really good at it but I still wanted to know and see those coming high end BlackBerry devices. I think thats what people are wanting to know as well.

BlackBerry won't be able to turn the game around without the successors of the recently released BlackBerry devices... and also, the software and os itself. It must be able to port contacts, calendar, and other datas from other platforms directly with a Pc in between. Just like a plug and play.

I think that's how we pull the BlackBerry quiters back to use BlackBerry 10.

And I hope, BlackBerry will negotiate with Google to be to run Google play services in it as a last resort to finally close the app gap and with 0.00 gap.

Posted via CB10

Patience. I'm satisfied with my Z30 until whenever they bring the next generation. Heins tried to get the new flagships to market as quickly as possible, Chen isn't making that mistake and I respect that. Make some money first! If they can show that BlackBerry has value outside of devices, confidence in the longevity of the company goes up and it takes the pressure off the consumer end. I want this next roll-out to go better than the last.

I am sick of BlackBerry talking about stuff too early. They have an image of talking the talk but not walking the walk. I don't want to hear anything substantial until they're doing something substantial.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

@Prem..+10..Bring the Z20 to market in the US and later give them a SuperPhone.The US market is lost but that doesn't mean they can't get back into it, in time,just keep the plan they have going and the stock price will rise and the media will be all over a comeback story that everyone loves to hear about,then the US will come around and all that free publicity won't cost them a dime,it's going to happen but the thing is even now if BB comes out with a cool phone nobody is going to give it a second look except for us BB loyalists.So,Yes let them get the enterprise reved up to where the street takes notice and then worry about selling phones again ,by that time I think BB will be bought out for a great price.

Can someone mention to him that BB fans would love to have easy access to BlackBerry gear such as hats, shirts, jackets, and anything else.

Not sure why the management won't open up an authorized online store to sell this stuff or even sub out to CrackBerry where the true fans are and will purchase and MAKE MONEY.

Every CrackHead wants a cap. To. Cover. It. Meeee toooo. LOL

Concerts, same thing. Tickets ok, but there's a whole lot of money in the merchandise. And free exposure.

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

I totally agree. And it's not like they don't have stuff. I got a Blackberry branded toque and scarf from an employee. They came in very handy this winter. The quality is very good and the black on black colour scheme kept it classy.

I would totally rock a black t shirt with the BB logo. make toques and hats for runners

Don't tell me Mr Chen, SHOW ME!!!!

Don't skimp on anything like your previous CEO 's did.

All Blackberries are in desperate need of a decent front and back cameras.

Time to do some partnerships deals with lens manufacturers

BlackBerry...Get it done!!!!

Posted via CB10

He told us 10.2.1.. by the end of February for everybody. We VZW Customers are still waiting. He should show us.

Posted via CB10

I love the comment about bridging the OS7 of the 9900 and BlackBerry 10.

Also it is good to see some positive air time in the US.

Thanks

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry should keep putting out great phones and effective OS updates, and at the same time, keep the focus on enterprise and BBM. They are losing too many users, when people are tired waiting, they move on to other platforms.

Posted via CB10

Here's the thing in the US they are losing market. But being sold out in Indonesia, means users are coming...

Maybe if the rest of the world adopt BlackBerry then may be it will be the "new" European fad to hit the US. We Americans are crazy like that, bellbottoms platform shoes, in the 70's. Wide leggeded wedges in the 2000's. I'm sure there are better fad examples than that one.

Posted via CB using my Q10

I saw the interview yesterday on bloomberg's app. They didn't portray BlackBerry as a loser company anymore, that was a first.

I wasn't impressed with Chen's answer about T-mobile although... and I think he should have better prepared to address that.

Powered by BB

He said he hasn't seen the data behind the alleged success of the promotion (my words - his apparent sentiment) so there's not much more he could say about it.

Did I hear correctly but did Chen insinuate the Q20 will be available in September or October? That seems like a long time. I know the goal is the corporate market but prosumers may not wait. Just curious...

Posted via CB10

If they know the Q20 is coming for sure, some of them will. We can't expect that every prosumer will use a BlackBerry.

I liked Thor at fist, but I think I like Chen better. I have no proof of this but I think Thor was a change for changes sake, to coddle investors. I think with Chen it is a real change for the better, but I think he would have had a much easier time of it had it been him instead of Thor in the beginning. Hard to say though.

The White House. NSA backdoors in BlackBerrys no doubt. Awesome. I love my Z10 but it might be time to switch to Black Phone.

Posted via CB10

Black Phone is probably funded by the NSA to lure those who really desire privacy (thus more important for NSA to snoop on) to using their phones. Lol. This is only a half joke, there's a chance this is true. :-D

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

It's been a year, guys. Time to get around to fixing some of the flaws with the app. Let's put John Chen on it!

Posted via CB10

Dammit! If you wanna sell more BlackBerry devices,...you gotta make 'em freak'n available on more carriers,...as in, what's up with this exclusive Z30 only available on Verizon crap?

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry has to stop announcing new products only to make consumers wait 6 months for its release. Look at Apple. Their phone is available weeks after announcement. Another example, look at Beyonce, her album was released on iTunes with 24 hrs notice, and it became a chart topper. Knowing that the Q20 is being released in Sep/Oct means I won't expect a Q30 any time soon, and will have to hold on to my almost 1 year old Q10.

Even though I agree with you 100%, I don't think BlackBerry is in a position to hold back on device announcements for many reasons. .

Posted via CB10

C004635F8 - Premium BlackBerry 10 wallpapers for both Z & Q series :D have a quick look I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.

Matt.... I am about to subscribe to this. Keep em coming. Gotta keep my Z30 looking Fresh...

These wallpaper exchanges may be some of the best channels - what are some other "good ones"...

CB10 from the Z30

Awesome news. In my opinion blackberry should now make BBM available for free on windows/Mac/Linux. Then anybody could hop on there computer or phone, communicate and share files vast and securely between the two. It would be a awesome feature that not only consumers could use but businesses also.

Posted via CB10

Chen has stated a few times, and we all know this that BlackBerry has a lot of tough challenges ahead. But I really think this man can get BlackBerry organized in a way that it can return to profitability and respectability. There are lots of people who seem to take self satisfaction in beating up on BlackBerry, but today they have a very good OS, good quality hardware and good enterprise solutions for mobile phones. They need to stay on top of their game and keep getting their message out.

Posted via CB10

Fully agree. John Chen is great. He's leading the company to greatness. And yes a new BB10 tablet is something I would buy in a heart beat. I think once the BB10 device numbers start looking better, he will go all out with a tablet.

On a side note, I believe one suggestion by the Pentagon was for BBRY to make a Secure BB10 Tablet that will go side by side with new BB10 devices. Humm, interesting. I can see a new Tablet being announced before the summer's end.

I think John Chen fell into the same trap as previous CEO 's of BlackBerry.

By declaring a date for the Q20 to Bloomberg of all people. He allowed the interviewer to make him say date.

Bloomberg has never been in BlackBerry's corner. They don't even advertise that it is available on BB10.

A lot of People are waiting for John Chen to fail at BlackBerry.

He should have said ' I'm not at liberty to tell you, but we will surprise a lot of people. I'm not going to put a date on when the devices will arrive so you can set me up to fail. I am not going to let you do that.

That is what the media have done in the past . Remember I have seen what you have done and written.

When the devices are up to my standard then we will tell you a date. '

Have the devices ready in June. Have Hollywood celebrities have them for free and watch the free publicity come from that.

Leonardo Di Caprio was rocking a Q10 at the Oscars. Did anyone else see that?

Send an undercover sales team to Hollywood to teach the celebrities about the new BlackBerry devices. They can then teach their friends make it exclusive to Hollywood as well as Enterprise and Government. Hollywood needs their privacy too.

Especially with the hacking scandals in the UK - Celebrities were having their conversations listened to and put into print in national newspapers.

Are they doing the same in the US? What are the odds? Even money.....

This story would be perfect for BlackBerry

UNDER PROMISE, OVER DELIVER

Posted via CB10

You're absolutely right (except for John Chen fell into trap).

Not only Bloomberg but also other media with "special relationship" with Google and/or Apple are now strangely lenient toward BlackBerry and the "The Laughing Man".

Something is in the air. And it's nothing good.

BlackBerry can make it with corporate and government 1st. The only consumers who should be buying a blackberry are those who need great speed, security, and power.Like First responders, financial transactions, tech say individuals. BlackBerry needs to be a Swiss Army knife for us. Teens and mom's should not be in possession of the high end blackberry phones. For what? An iphone can handle what they wish to do. BlackBerry is in a league all its own and forget about trying to win over teens, candy crush players, etc. BlackBerry needs to be a hardcore Business and Tech Phone ONLY. In the future when you hear BlackBerry the first thing to come to mind should be Business. When you say you have a blackberry, people should wonder why should you need to own such a powerful device...ultimately blackberry should be more respected than the other devices because of its use in the critical areas of our world.

Posted via CB10

T mobile sucks. I went today to trade up my old device for a Z10. Their $200 credit towards a device ended Wednesday. (So only lasted a week and they didn't have all the devices available...like the z10) freaking crap.

I got this crazy feeling that SAP will buy BlackBerry.....I'm not sure if it makes sense but it is rolling around my head. anyone have any comments?

@wcars0hq...well they just signed with SAP to have their SAP FIORI app installed on BB10 ,this Fiori is a collection of 25 apps for business and it looks pretty good,check out a demo on the web,SAP's Ceo doesn't mind his top men moving to BB and could be a great way to know how the company is doing before buying them.Chen has also mentioned there will be more partnering between them in the future.I really hope we the shareholders get a fair price,I hope they don't steal the company right under our eyes,all the heavy work is being done now and at a cost to BB,when and if SAP decides to buy them it won't cost much to transfer over the company,because it is being tailored right now for them to mesh seamlessly.

No... put all of your negativities on Mr. Chen. I have faith in him. But still I would like to see those coming big guns.

Posted via CB10

Executing, dear Mr Chen... executing your "enterprise software" strategy is the weakness at BlackBerry. Lot's of talks about changes but still, no real performance in the execution of a strategy.

Also, a strictly enterprise software without device support is a grand flaw in your thinking, dear Mr Chen.

It's amazing how some people are,it wasn't long ago Thorsten was a rock star...the one to bring berry back now it's Chen, the question is how long will it take before the crowd turns on him...
I agree with going back to your roots but the biggest problem berry has had is being slow...a day late and a dollor short...also from berry fans the company needs true feed back... Not blind sheep willing to be happy with any thing...if you don't like a phone say it ...it doesn't make you less of a fan...just maybe someone who really cares about the long term health of Blackberry...

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Great video. I liked the way he kept his cool during the interview and even shared the name joke. Mr. Chen, keep up the great work.

Sent from my Z30 running 10.2.1

Interesting direction that John Chen is taking Blackberry. It is back to the future. You concentrate on your Enterprise. You make it desirable in the Enterprise world. You make good products for the enterprise world. When that happens, you get consumers that want the enterprise product, thus producing an increase demand for your product. This was the core of RIM. The products were for enterprise, and the consumer wanted it. The problem was that RIM never saw Apple in its rear view mirror.

John Chen...... I Love this guy. thank god we have him on our BlackBerry Team because I don't know another CEO who stands out like Chen dose. He brings so much life. And that is what he is bringing to blackberry10 So much Life!!!!.

Posted via CB10