Much has been said and written about the fate of BlackBerry’s smartphone business. Less than a decade ago the company was a market leader but it all come crashing down post-2007 when the iPhone arrive and the smartphone game changed. It was slow to adapt and was left to catch up with the pack that had leaped far ahead. As the company seeks to revive its handset business with the launch of its first Android smartphone BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said that BB might shut down its smartphone business if it doesn’t become profitable in one year from now.
Chen made these comments during a talk at the Code Mobile conference in California, but was also quick to point out that there is still a demand among U.S. consumers and businesses for BB smartphones with advanced security features not found on other devices.
The security angle might play with governments and businesses, even though many businesses have also jumped ship, but average consumers frankly couldn’t care less and that’s why many of them haven’t been buying BB smartphones.
As far as BB10’s future goes, Chen said that the company might eventually merge the OS with Android so that all advanced security features of its software are available on BlackBerry’s Android devices, while the company only has to manage one mobile operating system.
BlackBerry aims to rectify that with the launch of BlackBerry Priv, its first Android powered smartphone that comes with the promise of BB-level security and the full suite of apps and services available to a standard Android smartphone. Sounds like a compelling proposition.