Time Almost Up for Blackberry

Blackberry has been given just 12 months to drag its devices business back into profit otherwise it faces the chop according to CEO John Chen. During an announcement at the annual general meeting last month Chen told shareholders “The device business must be profitable, we don’t want to run a business that drags on the bottom line,”

“It’s time for us to get to the profitability … we’ve got to get there this year.”

That said, Chen said he doesn’t see handsets, which have transformed into a commodity since BlackBerry’s reign a decade ago, as the future of the company that has pivoted towards software and security services.

“I personally do not believe devices is going to be the future of any company,” he said, instead pointing towards software as the way forward for BlackBerry. Of the estimated three billion mobile phones in use around the world, company documents state there were about 23 million BlackBerry users as of March 2016.

Chen, who earns about $90m a year, has seen device sales drop from 28 million to just 7 million sold last year during his tenure.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine