Following BlackBerry's earnings report and conference call, BlackBerry CEO John Chen sat down with CNBC's Jon Fortt to talk about the earnings and his outlook for the company. The notable comments from the interview focus on whether or not Chen has any intent on exiting the hardware business, something Chen spoke of on the conference call as well.
I truly believe that we're very, very close in being able to break even or start making money in devices. As you all know, and I said many times if we - despite all the efforts that we put in, if we cannot make money on the device business and it become a burden due to consolidation then I will have to get out of that particular business but that's not a big secret, I say it. I say it, and that hurts me in front of the customers. A lot of time I go to show to a customer, they keep wanting me to explain that but I think I explained it as a reasonable good business person and that people get it. But I still believe that we have a shot at it. Hopefully, I'm not naive but we do have a pretty good plan with multiple engine firing at the same time. That's where we are.
For the CNBC interview, Chen was once again asked about exiting the hardware business and laid it out rather plainly for Fortt, noting that he had made a statement back in September 2015 that he needed one year to make the devices profitable and believes he can do it and is sticking to that. I'm sure many will focus on the following comments noted by Chen, but the truth is, they're not really anything new. He has been very upfront in saying he needs to start 'seeing growth and contribution to the bottom line' from hardware but for now, hardware is still very much a key part of BlackBerry.
If by September, I couldn't find a way to get there, then I need to seriously consider being a software company only
Go ahead and hit play on the video to check it out for yourself. Again, there's very little new in the actual questioning but it's better to get the full spectrum of the conversation from the video.