BlackBerry CEO Hoping Keyboarded Smartphones, BBM Service On Desktops Brings Company Back

BlackBerry is a shell of itself, but CEO John Chen has plans to bring the company back to prominence even as BlackBerry’s latest financials were released today showing losses for the year.

BlackBerry eschewed its iconic physical keyboard for all-touchscreen devices with its Z10 and Z30 handsets, but after that didn’t pan out especially well, the company is getting back to its roots with the keyboarded Q20 smartphone. It appears that there’s more than one in the works, too. Chen told Reuters that there are at least three high-end smartphones that the company is developing, so it’s reasonable to assume BlackBerry may have multiple handsets with physical keyboards coming to market at some point in the not-too-distant future.

BlackBerry Z10
BlackBerry Z10

Chen also stated that he wants BlackBerry to focus on its loyal cash cow of corporate and government clients (which may or may not include the White House) as opposed to trying to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple for consumer sales.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen
BlackBerry CEO John Chen (Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch)

Another intriguing development may be BlackBerry’s BBM messaging service coming to the desktop. The company has already pushed it out to Windows Phone, and it would make sense for the company to have a solution that offers a seamless messaging experience from the desktop to the mobile device. "We are certainly going to take a very serious look at putting BBM on the desktop," he told Reuters.

Assuming Chen’s plans are successful, BlackBerry has a long way to go. Chen said he’s hoping for a return to profitability sometime in fiscal year 2016.