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John Chen says that consumers are still a focus at BlackBerry

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John Chen says that consumers are still a focus at BlackBerry
If you're a die hard BlackBerry fan, the kind that can't imagine using any other keyboard than the one on the BlackBerry Q10, you might have been concerned by the appointment of John Chen to replace Thorsten Heins as CEO of the Canadian manufacturer. With the reputation as someone who has turned around a troubled company (Sybase) and dressed it up to be sold to a much larger one (SAP), the fear was that Chen would concentrate on areas like the enterprise, BES and let the consumer handset business die in its sleep.

But Chen recently confirmed that the consumer smartphone business is still a top priority at Waterloo, despite the challenges of taking on a rather entrenched duopoly in iOS and Android. With the enterprise business, BlackBerry has BES although the CEO recently said that the company has lost users since BlackBerry 7 was retired.

Hand in hand with the enterprise business is BlackBerry's reputation for security. Chen says that no platform is as secure as the BlackBerry OS. And while this once might have been more important to the businesses and government agencies who are transmitting confidential information on a smartphone and storing it on the device, the NSA 'scandal' has brought the issue of security to the general public. That could benefit BlackBerry's consumer sales.


With some research firms reporting that BlackBerry had 0% of the U.S. smartphone market in the fourth quarter, keeping the faith is going to be hard for those die-hard fans that the company still has left. Chen earlier said that the company is working on some high-end models for the U.S.market that are not covered by its 5-year pact with Foxconn. This is where BlackBerry has fallen flat on its face before. If it can come up with a device that can challenge the competition specs wise, perhaps BlackBerry's strengths in the physical keyboard and security areas can help it bounce off the bottom of the consumer smartphone market. This seems to be what John Chen is counting on.

source: FastCompany via BerryReview

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