Items tagged with John Chen

If you liked recent, unique smartphone designs like the Passport and the Priv, you won’t be seeing anything like them in the future from BlackBerry. Buried in the company’s fiscal Q2 2017 earnings report is news that BlackBerry is exiting the hardware business and will instead “outsource that function to partners”. This should come as a surprise to no one that has followed BlackBerry since John Chen took the helm. In early April, Chen boldly stated that he would sever BlackBerry’s hardware division if it wasn’t profitable by September. Given that BlackBerry has less than 1 percent of the global smartphone market according to recent estimates (with shipments quickly dwindling), it was a foregone... Read more...
It's official, BlackBerry is planning to launch an Android handset called Priv (codenamed Venice). BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed the rampant rumor in a statement accompanying the Canadian outfit's financial report (PDF) for its fiscal 2016 second quarter, though he may want to familiarize himself with the handset between now and when it releases to retail. Mr. Chen granted Business News Network's Amber Kanwar a worldwide exclusive first look at the upcoming phone by way of a video interview, but instead of showing off the Priv (short for Privacy) and drumming up excitement for the device, he may have inadvertently gave BlackBerry users cause for concern as he struggled with the interface.... Read more...
BlackBerry isn’t finished yet, and a comeback is in the works. That’s the word from BlackBerry’s CEO, who not only thinks that the ailing company has the potential to rebuild, but believes that the BlackBerry smartphone will be integral to its success. Believe it or not, BlackBerry managed to turn a profit in Q4 of last year and it still has a (very tiny) market for the BlackBerry. Although the square-ish, button-laden phones aren’t creating any real competition to the iPhone or Android smartphones right now, they still have a following among security-minded customers.“If you look at the U.S. Army, they’re still rolling out all BlackBerry,” CEO John Chen told Business Insider... Read more...
The BlackBerry Passport is one odd device. On the one hand, its hardware is fitting for a 2014-era flagship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor (3GB RAM), 32GB of internal storage, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, a 13MP rear camera with OIS, and a massive 3450 mAh battery. On the other hand, the device has an odd 4.5” 1440x1440 square display and squared off edges which doesn’t exactly make it very ergonomic. While the Passport officially launched back in late September, it is just now arriving on AT&T’s network. And wouldn’t you know it, AT&T is already cutting corners… really. AT&T apparently didn’t take too kindly to the original design of the Passport and ask BlackBerry to go back... Read more...
Someone at BlackBerry's been watching Matthew McConaughey's goofy Lincoln commercials, and specifically the one that states, "Sometimes you've got to go back to actually move forward." Not to reminisce or chase ghosts, mind you, but to see where you came from, as McConaughey advises. What the flip that has to do with Lincoln, we're not really sure, but in BlackBerry's case, the Canadian handset maker is pinning its hopes on the aptly named BlackBerry Classic. The BlackBerry Classic represents a return to what once made BlackBerry devices popular to begin with -- the well designed physical keyboard with a top row of navigation keys, trackpad, and a size that feels appropriate in your hands. At... Read more...
Facebook surprised a lot of people when Mark Zuckerberg announced his social network was acquiring WhatsApp, an instant messaging application for smartphones, for $19 billion, representing the company's biggest acquisition to date. When asked about the valuation, BlackBerry's CEO, John Chen, said he would take $19 billion for his company's messaging service in a heartbeat. "I work for the shareholder. Standard answer. If somebody comes to me with $19 billion, I would definitely sell it. I would recommend to the board to take it," Chen told CNBC. Chen also said he doesn't view BlackBerry Messenger in the same way. He says he knows there's significant value in the messaging business, and the way... Read more...