With competition ever so rough in the mobile industry, companies such as BlackBerry have long been struggling to set up a foothold or simply to hang on to their business. BlackBerry’s CEO, Mr. John Chen, seems to be aware of the difficult road ahead and is not entirely opposed to the idea of giving up phone manufacturing altogether. Recently speaking out in an interview at the Code/Mobile panel, Mr. Chen explained that he is considering shutting down the company’s hardware business, and focusing on a singular task of providing top-tier security solutions. While this is not a definitive decision, it’s certainly a path he’s considering, and given that BlackBerry phones are having a difficult time grabbing a foothold in the smartphone market, it’s understandable why.
That’s not to say BlackBerry is rolling over and preparing itself for the axe. Not even close. The company is an industry leader when it comes to software security, and this is exactly what Mr. Chen is looking to focus on. He’s not prepared to give up on smartphones and hardware just yet, but he’s looking at it as a “never say never” scenario in the future. We’ve seen recent evidence that BlackBerry’s fight isn’t over just yet in the shape of the BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first phone to use Android, and also the first to use a different company’s operating system. In the words of John Chen himself, the recently announced Priv “combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.”
Will the Priv be the company’s savior? It’s hard to tell, but it’s good to see Mr. Chen preparing himself for the eventuality that it won’t be. Regardless, he gave plentiful details about the fallback plan. “We want to bring the BlackBerry security knowhow to Android” he explained, also adding that “We’ll be more resilient than everybody else.” Despite having difficulties in the mobile market, there’s little doubt that the company knows security and knows it well. It’s still one of the main sellingpoints for its phones, and it’s something many business owners are looking for when searching for the telecommunications technology necessary to run companies on.
As far as his company’s targeted consumers are concerned, Mr. Chen explained that BlackBerry isn’t targeting businesses alone, and that his company is well aware that average users can also be interested in security. At the same time, he acknowledged that the consumers he is aiming to provide for are high-end ones, and that’s what he plans to cater to, regardless of the Priv’s success in the future. With BlackBerry’s experience in ensuring data security and their willingness to dive into Android, Mr. Chen is confident in the company’s future business, with or without its hardware segment, and frankly, so are we.