Blackberry’s new chief, John Chen, has rubbished claims that the company will stop making smartphones, and has also said that they will not dump the BlackBerry 10 operating system in preference for Android.
Blackberry has really struggled to keep up with the smartphone market. When touch screen devices became popular, they stuck to their guns by continuing to offer a full QWERTY keyboard and, while they have now launched several touch screen devices, some still incorporating a physical keyboard as well, consumers just haven’t warmed to them. Service outages and other major problems have further damaged the reputation of a company that was considered to be highly desirable.
John Chen took over, officially, as caretaker CEO, but he has pedigree and form that the smartphone manufacturer will be looking to take advantage of. He is especially well blooded in the world of enterprise IT, and this is the direction that the Canadian firm are clearly looking to concentrate on.
The BB10 operating system is good. In fact, it’s now, following some teething problems on release, really very good for certain applications and uses. It is expensive, though, and this means that Blackberry are taking a step away from the consumer and the budget market to concentrate more squarely on business users. Chen could prove to be the perfect fit for this new, or reimagined, goal.
In a recent talk, he said that Blackberry would not be abandoning the manufacturer of smartphones and that these rumours were definitely not true. He also rubbished claims that they would abandon BB10 and start offering Android instead. Considering the investment the company has made, and the positive business reviews that the operating system gets, it’s easy to see why they would be reticent to abandon the latest incarnation of their mobile platform. But, should they have an exit strategy like Android, in case things don’t work out?