BlackBerry CEO: If I Cannot Make Money on Handsets, I Will Not be in the Handset Business

John ChenBlackBerry CEO John Chen has declared in two recent interviews that the struggling handset manufacturer might abandon its smartphone business.

“If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,” Chen, who replaced previous BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins last November, told Reuters in an interview.

Speaking to Bloomberg this week, he clarified: “I don’t have a plan to get rid of handsets, I have a plan to not be dependent on handsets. All I need to do is replace the handset revenue, and this company will be very different.”

Chen is giving himself two years to turn BlackBerrys business around, according to Bloomberg. The company intends to offset declining demand for its handset – its share of the US smartphone market stood at just 0.6 per cent in the three months ending November 2013, according to Kantar figures – by selling software, with a particular focus on M2M applications.