BlackBerry Will Go On, Chen Says (At Least in a Knock-Off Keyboard)


Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry used to rule the roost as the world aspired to have the same phones that chief executives and bigwig attorneys were tapping away on. But BlackBerry had little chance to survive when the likes of Apple and Samsung introduced more advanced, user-friendly technology that has since won consumers the world over. 

It seemed that the company formerly known as Research In Motion was going to take a long-term leave from the consumer market, focusing on business and software, but BlackBerry apparently still has some fight left in it. CEO John Chen said at CES 2014 this week that while the company was going to “focus on its enterprise business for the next 18 months,” it was still planning to keep in the consumer smartphone race as well.

After posting as astounding $4 billion loss and only selling two million of its new smartphones, Chen said BlackBerry needs to sell five times that per quarter in order for the company to break even.[more]

According to CNET, BlackBerry will have two new phones out this year, one manufactured by Apple partner Foxconn priced at lower than $200 in an effort to gain market share in emerging markets, as well as a higher-end device to compete with the best Apple and Samsung have to offer. Chen expects that the company will be moving back to profitability in 2015-16.  

For BlackBerry lovers, Chen reassured that the keyboard phones the company is famous for aren’t going away. In fact, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, BlackBerry will “predominantly” put its efforts into making keyboard phones.

The company seemingly doesn’t want anybody else getting into that market, either.It filed a lawsuit recently against a startup funded in part by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest for the company’s “Typo” product—a slip-on keypad for iPhone that almost perfectly mimics that of a BlackBerry keyboard.