When you are good at something, you need to stick with that and be the best. BlackBerry aims to do just that. After failing to wow consumers with its touchscreen smartphones, the company is going back to its roots and produce handsets with its iconic QWERTY keyboards.
Talking with the press during a roundtable discussion at the ongoing CES 2014 in Las Vegas, BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed what the company is up to this year. Chen who took over the position in November has been cleaning house in an effort to rebuild BlackBerry. Top executives have been leaving its roster and celebrity global creative director of the brand Alicia Keys was dropped from its payroll. The new CEO aims to have a positive cash flow by 2016.
Chen wants to return to the original formula that worked for BlackBerry. He wants to focus on government and enterprise customers that helped the company raked in profits before. For these users, one thing is essential on handsets - physical keyboards.
"For the immediate future, I'm going to be in the enterprise. I could make BBM the enterprise emergency [channel] for people who want serious" connectivity, he said. BBM could be used for voice calls, and eventually for videoconferencing. There's a lot of value, a lot of stuff to deliver to customers," Chen disclosed during an interview.
"I have spoken with carriers and CIOs and distributors and the conversation is always very positive. They see why it's good for the market to have a successful BlackBerry. I seem to get meetings easily. They want us to be successful. There's a lot of good will out there," he added.
While focused on enterprise, BlackBerry will not just drop its consumer business. Chen elaborated about its partnership with Foxconn. He said the five-year deal with the latter will help hasten the production of the company's next handsets and soon the company will release handsets for less than $200.
During the discussion, the BlackBerry CEO also said that Foxconn will help the company in the emerging markets but a more premium phone with the keyboard the brand has been known for, will be designed in-house.