Is it do-or-die time in the smartphone world? Yesterday we heard from Sony about its smartphone plans going forward, with word that the manufacturer was going to be looking long and hard at its 2016 sales performance, and if it can’t find a way to make things profitable, could consider major changes to its business model – all the way up to possibly ending Xperia sales entirely. Now we’re hearing something similar out of Waterloo, as BlackBerry’s John Chen sets a new sales goal for his firm – one that may spell the end of BlackBerry phone sales if the company can’t reach it.

Bolstered by the release of the upcoming Android-powered BlackBerry Priv, Chen wants to see sales hit the five-million-a-year mark. Like Sony, BlackBerry’s goal is to make its smartphone business profitable, and that’s the sales level where that begins to happen.

In recent quarters, BlackBerry’s moved varying amounts of inventory, with sales hitting figures like 1.6M – or more recently, just 800,000. While that makes that 5M number sound possible, it’s also far from a sure thing, and right now there’s little telling how consumers will react to a device like the Priv that’s such a departure from existing BlackBerry models.

Even if the company does ultimately find the smartphone-sales business unprofitable, expect to see BlackBerry live on as a provider of phone-related services – especially on the security front.

Source: The Verge

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