Tell me if you've heard this question before. Why is BlackBerry still making phones? You've heard it before, right? Of course, you have. Every blog, media outlet and armchair CEO that questions how BlackBerry is still alive resorts to asking that same tired question though they never provide an answer to it because an answer can only come from the top. Right now, the top is BlackBerry CEO John Chen and a new interview with Business Insider sheds some light on why exactly BlackBerry keeps on building phones once again.
Chen says BlackBerry phones are the entry point for customers into the company's security business. BlackBerry can still provide a secure backbone for other devices like iPhones and Android phones, but Chen says you get the most security with a BlackBerry phone. There are a lot of important customers that still need that level of security.
"I can only make iPhone so much more secure, but I can't make it as secure as a BlackBerry device," Chen said. "If you look at the US Army, they're still rolling out all BlackBerry. If I tell them there are no more phones, I lose that account. The question is how do you make phones profitable at the volume those people represent?"
I say once again because I'm entirely positive the answer given here isn't at all surprising to anyone reading this. It's essentially the same message John Chen has been delivering since he joined BlackBerry just worded differently. In fact, the comments are similar, if not identical, to those issued shortly after the Q4 Fiscal 2015 results, where Chen also noted he was not worried about BlackBerry non-believers (video below) and previous comments where Chen stressed the intent to continue to build a hardware business. The only people questioning why BlackBerry is still making phones are the ones not paying attention to what Chen has been saying for the better half of 18 months now.