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BlackBerry goes into the red as revenue drops by a third

Peter Sayer | June 24, 2016
The company is sticking with its handset business and expects to reveal a new model in July

Chen has no immediate plans to do that, though.

"Many customers, especially in governments around the world, are still relying on us providing a secure handset for them," he said.

Asked about the company's handset roadmap, he replied: "I'm not prepared to reveal that, I was thinking of doing that more in the July timeframe."

He reiterated his intention to deliver two new models "this fiscal year' (so before next March), adding that they would be "in the mid-range, not really high-end phones."

If BlackBerry does decide to bail out of the hardware business, it won't cost it much. It has just written down existing inventory, and no longer makes phones itself.

"We are a hardware design house. With the new manufacturing arrangement that we made, we don't carry too much of a risk to our balance sheet," Chen said.

That new arrangement is sufficiently flexible that BlackBerry can have handsets manufactured on demand in response to orders from carriers or enterprises.

While flagship phones make headlines, Chen is hoping that mid-range phones will make more money.

"The Priv is a great product but it's too expensive for enterprise," Chen said. "This is why enterprises and the carriers that supply them have been asking for a mid-range phone. That's why I think we should produce a mid-range product with our level of security."

"Let's see if we can make a run of it. If not, we already started the software part of that business and maybe that will make the transition a bit smoother."

Source: IT World

 

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