BlackBerry to cut device line in software shift – Mobile World Live

BlackBerry to cut device line in software shift

24 JUL 2015

BlackBerry chief John Chen said the company is reducing resources in the devices side of its business in line with its shift to focus on enterprise security and software.

And this, he said in an interview with Fox Business, means that the company will offer fewer devices in future.

“Traditionally, we made four phones a year. We’re not going to do that anymore. We’re going to cut it down a lot, two, maybe one. I need those resources on the security and software side,” he said.

It is not the first time that Chen has said it is shifting resources from devices to areas such as software and IoT. But his comments come days after Bloomberg reported that another round of cuts had taken place.

“We are reducing jobs, but it’s not as much reducing as shifting,” Chen said in the interview.

With the company’s smartphone volume tanking, sales from the business have also shrunk to the point where it no longer makes sense to offer a wide portfolio of devices.

And certainly there is the opportunity for the company to have a successful niche play based on evolutions of its original, enterprise-oriented BlackBerry devices such as BlackBerry Classic.

This week, BlackBerry made another acquisition designed to boost its core enterprise mobility proposition. It entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AtHoc, an enabler of secure, networked crisis communications.

It follows earlier acquisitions of MovirtuSecusmart and WatchDox.

And Chen also played-down speculation about a possible acquisition of BlackBerry, telling Fox Business that “I would like to have some more time to put the value back together. And if we put the value back together, the shareholders, if they are patient, I hope they will be rewarded many times over”.

“It’s important to have our company doing better financially, so the other companies have the confidence. Nobody has ever really questioned our technology. A while back, they questioned our viability. If you don’t think the company is going to be around, you are not going to buy their stuff,” he said.

Separately, Chen told Reuters: “There is still a lot of work to do, I’d love for everything to move faster, but I caution people to be a bit patient because we can’t rebound in a very short period of time, no company can.”

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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