BlackBerry CEO John Chen appeared today on CBS This Morning. During the interview, Chen was asked what a BlackBerry has that the Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy don't have. Chen responded that BlackBerry has the most secure smartphone infrastructure. Other topics included the new licensing pact with TCL. By the way,, Chen was armed with the BlackBerry KEYone for his visit to the television studio.
CBS failed big time here. For someone as interesting as Chen, you would have expected that at least one person on the panel would know something about smartphones in general, and BlackBerry specifically. In fact, it appeared that no one on the panel understood that BlackBerry's handsets are now powered by Android. For example, one of the panel members seemed skeptical when Chen told her that Instagram would work perfectly on the KEYone. Of course it would! The Android OS running the phone sports the Google Play Store.
Another failure came when a chart was put up on the screen showing Android with an 81.7% Q4 2016 market share world-wide as opposed to the 0.0% share belonging to BlackBerry. Hey CBS, those numbers were sales based on operating system. That means that the new BlackBerry phones are part of the 81.7% slice of the smartphone pie belonging to Android.
The conversation then drifted into the use of BlackBerry handsets by government agencies. That was a valid line of questioning. But one of the panel members then asked Chen whether President Obama is still rockin' a BlackBerry, a question that Chen could not answer. Chen did have some interesting replies to decent questions. He said that a company like BlackBerry needs to look ahead 3 to 5 years when it comes to planning. But as soon as the executive answered that question, one of the panelists went off on a tangent about Instagram.
Check out the interview by clicking on the video at the top of the story.