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BlackBerry chief reiterates device strategy


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Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, said that it is “important to know what you stand for” as the company rebuilds its position in the competitive smartphone market, reiterating that in future the company will focus its efforts on “not more than six” devices.

Speaking at the company’s Annual General Meeting this week, the executive said that against a backdrop of intense competition, “it’s important what segment you are pursuing and how you define your position”. In BlackBerry’s case, this means “hyper-connected users, multitasking users, I-need-to-get-stuff-done users”, he said.

Heins said that by focusing its resources on a targeted device portfolio, the company can “efficiently establish and differentiate BlackBerry 10 based on features such as the user interface, our iconic Qwerty keyboard and our secure enterprise and productivity strength”.

The company has already revealed one casualty of this strategy: the PlayBook tablet line. Having failed to generate traction in this competitive market, BlackBerry is to end its efforts in order to focus on the smartphone sector.

Heins also reiterated that the company is set to launch one more device powered by its legacy BlackBerry 7 operating system this year, in order to serve markets where users “continue to purchase BB7 smartphones based on its effective cost position and the BBM feature”.

Noting that BlackBerry is only five months into its BlackBerry 10 rollout, the executive said that the Z10 is now available across 147 markets, the Q10 is available in 96 with 50 more expected in Q2, and the Q5 is set to pass 70 in the current quarter.

Following investor criticism of the launch of devices in the US – a critical market for the company – Heins said that “we fully understand as a management team that we still have a way to go in the US market, as the most ferocious and the most competitive market in our industry”.

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