The past several years has brought forward the occasional conversation of Waterloo-based BlackBerry splitting off its business into several parts. Investors pointed toward separate divisions that focused on network, device and patents. This topic somewhat faded away when BlackBerry took itself off the market and decided to continue down the restructuring path, but during an interview with Reuters, BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen says selling off the handset business could eventually be reality.
It’s all about the bringing value and servicing the enterprise customer. Chen noted, “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business… I am hoping that between now and next year we will make money in the handset business… If we really couldn’t find a way to make the handset profitable then maybe we’ll have somebody else build more handsets and I make less and less handsets… There has got to be a way to make handsets [profitable] because our operating system and our software technology are so strong… If I just license software technology I would do well. We will be in the handset business, but it’s a matter of what level of integration.”
BlackBerry recently signed a 5-year contract with Foxconn to assist in designing and manufacturing future handsets.
Chen added that he believes the “company is very undervalued,” but also declared that acquisitions are on their radar, specifically seeking companies specializing in security, productivity and communication.
For the immediate future, BlackBerry will launching three “high-end smartphones” within the next 18 months. One will be the BlackBerry Q20 and the other two are unknown (possibly the leaked Windermere). In addition, BlackBerry will restart production of the Bold 9900.