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BlackBerry considering leaving smartphone market

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BlackBerry Z10
BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry is considering leaving the smartphone market, especially if it continues to be unprofitable for the company.

The Canadian smartphone company has been going through some financial difficulties of late, which wasn’t helped by the lack of hype surrounding its latest BlackBerry 10 OS and its associated handsets like the BlackBerry Z10.

In an interview with Reuters, new BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed that the company could take a step back from the smartphone world entirely, in favour of investments, partnerships and acquisitions.

“If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business”, said John Chen, not before adding that the decision will be made very shortly.

He believes that BlackBerry could still make money if it could ship 10 million units per annum.

However, seeing as latest figures put Blackberry phone shipments at less than 2 million for the last quarter, in comparison to the company’s peak 52.3 million shipments, BlackBerry may struggle even to reach this 10 million figure each year.

Instead of targeting the smartphone market, BlackBerry may well make some small acquisitions to strengthen its network security options.

“We are building an engineering team on the service side that is focused on security. We will do some partnerships and we will probably, potentially do an M&A on security.”

Chen also revealed the company is looking to invest or make partnerships with other companies related to healthcare, or financial or legal services, which would make use of its secure communication offerings.

Joining the company as CEO in November, Chen added that the previous management made mistakes. He aims to implement a long term strategy that will also achieve the short-term goals that will keep the company afloat.

“You have to live short term. Maybe the prior management had the luxury to be the world would come to it. I don’t have the luxury at all. I’m losing money and burning cash.”

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