BlackBerry could quit handset business next year (Wired UK)

The Priv, BlackBerry’s first Android phone


BlackBerry wants to sell five million phones a year — and if it doesn’t, it might give up selling handsets altogether.

In an interview at the Code Mobile conference, BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed the company’s goal to sell five million smartphones a year — something they need to do to make the business profitable. And if that doesn’t happen, Chen suggested that BlackBerry may quit the handset business.

Many of these sales are expected to come from the new BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first Android phone. The phone comes with BlackBerry’s well-known physical keyboard, which slides out from the bottom of the device and support for the full set of Android apps and services, with a number of BlackBerry-specific customisations also included.

Despite running Android, rather than BlackBerry’s own BB10 software, Chen said the device would come with the company’s security technology — an important factor for many users.

Chen explained that many of BB10’s biggest markets are high security organisations such as governments and hospitals and that, should BlackBerry’s Android endeavour keep up with these high security levels, the BB10 operating system could eventually be phased out. 

Blackberry has struggled to shift its handsets for a number of years. Just four years ago, the company sold 13.2 million of its devices in the first quarter —  a figure that plummeted to 1.1 million in 2015. Many stores in the US don’t even carry BlackBerry devices — something Chen said the company was working to change.

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9 October 2015 | 12:22 pm – Source:


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