IDG News Service
BlackBerry is not going to bail out of the handset business, but needs to return to its enterprise roots to reverse its slide, according to CEO John Chen.
“We’re committed to the handset business and we’ll make it work,” Chen said at a media briefing Thursday in New York.
Chen’s comments about staying in the handset business clarified a statement he made earlier to Reuters, which carried a news report Thursday that quoted him saying, “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business.”
BlackBerry’s years-long dominance of the enterprise handset market succumbed to the popularity of iOS and Android. Worldwide shipment of devices with the BlackBerry OS totaled 19.2 million in 2013, falling by 40.9 percent compared to 2012, with a market share of just 1.9 percent, according to IDC. BlackBerry was behind Android, which had a 78.6 percent market share, Apple’s iOS at 15.2 percent and Windows Phone with 3.3 percent.
BlackBerry is looking to put recent handset and OS struggles behind it and is increasing focus on enterprise services and premium handsets. Customers want the BlackBerry of old, Chen said.