On Wednesday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen told Reuters that if he could not make money selling handsets, he would exit the business
. While that seems like a reasonable comment, and one that we passed along to you in a story on Wednesday night, apparently some read the statement as saying that the sale of the division was imminent. So many people took Chen's remarks to mean that BlackBerry was actually on the verge of exiting the phone business, that the executive felt compelled to respond to the story on the company blog.
Chen wrote that he is not about to sell off the handset business "anytime soon
" and that his focus is on making this part of the business a profitable one. But he also pointed out that the Canadian company is in other lines of business such as enterprise services, messaging and software. He added that BlackBerry is investing in Machine to Machine technology.
While Chen didn't mention BBM by name, the messaging app is being dressed up by BlackBerry to increase its value. Facebook's $19 billion bid for WhatsApp valued the latter at $42 per subscriber
. With BBM available to BlackBerry, iOS, Android and eventually Windows Phone
, each new BBM subscriber adds value to the app.
"I want to assure you that I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon. I know you still love your BlackBerry devices. I love them too and I know they created the foundation of this company. Our focus today is on finding a way to make this business profitable
BlackBerry is not a handset-only company. We offer an end-to-end solution and devices are an important part of that equation. That’s why we’re complementing our Devices business with other revenue streams from enterprise services and software, to messaging. We’re also investing in emerging solutions such as Machine to Machine technologies that will help to power the backbone of the Internet of Things."-John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry
The CEO ended his post by saying that BlackBerry is not giving up and is not leaving the handset business any time soon, which is what he was trying to say with his original comment.