BlackBerry CEO thinks other companies should make a simple, BlackBerry-like smartphone

BlackBerry CEO thinks other companies should make a simple, BlackBerry-like smartphone
BlackBerry has successfully switched from making smartphones to helping business customers protect their devices. The Canadian company has given all the rights to build BlackBerry-branded smartphones to the Chinese giant TCL, and we've already seen the fruits of this collaboration.

However, BlackBerry CEO John Chen believes there's still room for BlackBerry-like devices in a market completely dominated by Android and iOS. In an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher, BlackBerry's official said that he finds the idea of reviving old phones quite appealing.

Although he doesn't think BlackBerry will do what HMD has done in the last couple of years with the Nokia feature phones, he's convinced that “there might be a need in this world for a phone that is very simple and just focused on secure email, secure texts, and a basic browser.”

He went on to add that a smartphone like the BlackBerry Bold 9900 could be the perfect candidate for a retro revival and that “somebody should make that.”

The said device shouldn't offer more than just the basic features you could find in a smartphone, but it would be “highly secure.” According to Chen, such a basic Blackberry-like smartphone that's built with security in mind shouldn't cost more than $199.

But what company would be capable to make such a smartphone and how many customers would be tempted to buy it? We might find answers to these questions in the not so distant future since Chen seems pretty determined to “find a hardware partner to do this.”

source: Recode

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29 Comments

1. BGChicago

Posts: 227; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

Of course there is. I still carry my 4 years old BB Q10, running BB10.3.3 along side G S7. Honestly, Q10 is the preferred tool for work for me, even today. It's easy to handle one hand, keyboard shortcuts are great, email/text/IM is ALWAYS one swipe away no matter what app or settings you are in. Open apps are always on the home screen. Much quicker UX/UI than my GS7. Mind you, that's a 4 year old smartphone!!! To bad the millennials turst for [idiotic] social media adware apps killed that platform.

20. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Blaming the milenial? You the weird one.. still using outdated design phone

25. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

You waste all your time to attack BlackBerry user and inanimate object instead of to find way to be productive member of society, and you call him weird? That is the pot calling the kettle black.

28. BGChicago

Posts: 227; Member since: Nov 16, 2014

I am actually a millennial, if it is to judge by my birthdate. But I don't think like one.

2. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Chen did say that Blackberry 10 is not dead yet. BBX failed as a full-fledged smartphone OS, no question about it, but I think it'd do great as a 'feature phone' OS that's not entirely dumb and can receive push notifications, Emails, IMs with a great emphasis on security. And considering how fluid it 'was', I think even The Snapdragon 212 can handle it quite reasonably. Count me in! G'Day!

3. Neoberry99

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 30, 2015

Take my money Mr. Chen. I'm ready for it.

7. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

If you so keen on throwing away money, I got a bridge to sell

12. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Yeah, because you're so stupid you overpaid for it.

17. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Is funny that he admit without knowing that he throw his money way.

4. tokuzumi

Posts: 1961; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

The company that is practically out of business wants other manufacturers to make phones that don't sell? Now, I do wish they would make another Priv-like slider. I never had one, but it seemed to be very well received by all who used it.

6. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Chen is dunk to think other company want to make bb like device.

9. Venom

Posts: 3823; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. I don't think it'll happen especially when they are going the patent bully way.

21. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

LOL. I remember bb 'protecting' their 'patent' like crazy and forget to move on...

27. Venom

Posts: 3823; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. Their recent actions contradicts their CEO in this article.

14. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Other company already make “bb like device”. They are company that do not steal patent, they license them, because that is right way to do it. The BlackBerry KEYone say “Hello, how is that rock you live under?”

11. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2488; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Well in case you were under a rock for the past 2 years...Blackberry already has partners that build their devices. That’s why he’s saying Blackberry themselves wouldn’t be the one to build it because they haven’t built any hardware for over 2 years. So it could just as easily be him saying he may talk to TCL about building such a device.

16. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

Maybe you do not read BlackBerry’s latest earning report. They break record with the last few of them, so that is proof they are not “practically out of business”.

22. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Maybe you dont have MBA degree to understand that BB were using accounting trick to write off their lost as 'one time lost' for the last 16 quarters under john chen to make BB looks profitable

24. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

It is fact that you do not have MBA degree. You do not even have pre-school level training, or you would know that BlackBerry is breaking record for several quarter now for fact, not fiction like you post. But is nothing but expected to see you post negativity about BlackBerry every chance you get. You are like boy who cried wolf and emperor with no close all in one. All air and no substance.

5. Not_Amused321

Posts: 66; Member since: Jan 06, 2013

Off topic a bit but I miss the old sidekicks

8. Venom

Posts: 3823; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Why doesn't Chen make one themselves? They actually had the opportunity to fulfill that particular segment with the KeyONE, but they unfortunately priced it too high. They could have had a secure version of Android on their device and would have been a great deal at an entry level price. He actually could do the secure phone, but I don't think basic the way he described it is going to work in 2018.

23. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Good word!!!!

10. profperez1

Posts: 76; Member since: May 08, 2012

I would totally buy a Q10 for $300 with a good camera on it running android!

13. maqsood

Posts: 3; Member since: Apr 30, 2011

Imagine an iPhone in the form factor of the q10 or the 9900 would be just brilliant! Or even an android phone!

15. MDCHO

Posts: 769; Member since: Jul 28, 2016

If Chen get a licensee to make this phone, I will buy one for certain.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22492; Member since: May 28, 2014

Me too, my dude. This would be an instant buy from me, but only if it ran BlackBerry 10. The fluidity of the gesture based OS that is BB10 is awesome.

26. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3166; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Maybe I read the article wrong but it almost seems like Chen was pining for a Legacy BBOS phone. I think my boy Barack wants his 8800 back. Actually, I want my boy back.

19. shukidevdas

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 16, 2018

I just want a solid android phone with a camera that rivals the current best every year and of course, a blackberry keyboard. Then you could have my money every year. throw in an OLED screen while ur at it.

29. Lbaranouskas

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 18, 2018

Don't reinvent the wheel Mr. Chen / BlackBerry - the original BBOS of fame & fortune works and still quite well in 2018, just give it a new CPU, RAM, & antenna and slap it back on the assembly lines and I'd pay serious money (a lot more than for a KeyTwo, Athena, PRIV, KeyOne) and probably others too - the magic behind a Bold 9900 is the 1. -actually- ergonomic keyboard & trackpad (which is an off-the-charts surgically accurate mouse!!) --- this provides the tools to execute high-level proofreading & writing! Today's android keyboard devices BlackBerry PRIV, BlackBerry KeyOne are clearly consumer-first business-second with their 2x3.25" inch "trackpad" that is about as timely, ergonomic, & accurate as talking with a toothbrush in your mouth. Incessant cursor chasing due to lag, poor cursor chasing whether by touch screen or via "trackpad" (have to activate trackpad cursor with double tap, which also lags), and all this leads to apps freezing - how's a business person to write anything with substance? Finally, why is something so basic as re-issuing an -already- existing bullet-proof, super-reliable, rarely-crashing, textual-friendly, note friendly, calendar-friendly BlackBerry Bold so out of the question? And better yet why did the next generation of these blockbuster devices (BBOS) not come out as nature intended in 2014 when then -60M- BlackBerry users were expecting it (instead of the unproven, un-requested, pardon me garbage called BB10 devices that were drudged out, as if its LINUX roots ever had a chromosome of relation to it's Java-based legacy software that charmed the world). I use a BlackBerry Bold 9900 as my primary business device and begrudgingly also a BlackBerry KeyOne as secondary - the 10,000+ contacts for our company has instantaneous real-time search function on my 2011-built Bold and gives me incredible access to years of text information (Bolds are still be sold for $100-200 in -today's- 2018-market BTW people!), whereas my $550 KeyOne from last year can barely open the contacts app let alone quickly isolate information I want in any fashion a business person would call timely - what a joke!! The same goes for my Bold calendar, I have 40-70 items listed per day for our field teams and rearrange in them real-time to our 10+ employees (who also have Bolds BTW) enabling us to make swift and significantly better operations decisions and the device handles it in stride. On the KeyOne, the BlackBerry calendar can barely stay open for a few minutes making the same changes linked on the same BlackBerry Enterprise Server system profile. And now with BlackBerry App World shutting down acces to paid apps back on April 1st, 2018, -no one- is serving our future business needs...

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