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BlackBerry CEO Chen discusses possible new phablet and a comeback for the ages

Published Jun 11th, 2014 2:13PM EDT
BlackBerry CEO Interview

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New BlackBerry CEO John Chen is being paid handsomely to take a once-great smartphone vendor and make it great once again. That daunting task is easier said than done, of course, but progress is being made. In an interview earlier this week with The Jakarta Post, Chen discussed the momentum BlackBerry is building. He also explained how the company will continue to improve its market position, and said that it might even launch a new phablet in the future.

“I am focusing on new products, in devices, like you saw in the Z3, that are more focused on the consumer space,” Chen said when asked how he plans to reverse BlackBerry’s current course. “We have a lot of products in the enterprise spaces coming out. We are looking at releasing our new enterprise offer […]. We have now set up BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for enterprises called e-BBM, starting in June this year. So, there are a lot of good things and we are doing a lot more on QNX, our better microkernel operating system. We are doing a lot of things, but the whole idea for BlackBerry in the future is we will build infrastructure that connects everything: mobile, Internet protocol [IP] addresses, everything.”

Chen also reiterated his earlier declaration that BlackBerry will be cash flow neutral or positive by the end of the current fiscal year.

Regarding new products, Chen said that BlackBerry may consider launching a new phablet in the future, noting that there is still a big untapped opportunity in Indonesia specifically in the phablet space.

“If we will do another thing, we will probably go to phablet,” Chen said. “I think if you look at our strategy and if you look at where the market goes, there is definitely a good market for something between a phone and tablet.”

He continued, “I think the phablet could be early, the tablet is already late. That is not a bad thing, because you can bring new technology. But, if I have the opportunity I will go to phablet. […] we will build what the market wants.”

The full interview can be found on The Jakarta Post’s website, which is linked below in our source section.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.