John Chen says BlackBerry hardware unit close to making money
BlackBerry CEO John Chen wrapped up a talk at the Milken Institute Global Conference today with some media stew. That stew was all up in the company’s smartphones — phones that investors have seen the end of and that won’t be making money.
When a Bloomberg interviewer pointed out Chen’s prior pledge to give up on hardware and how critics felt that the decision point was being dragged along, the executive said he wasn’t giving any slack at all.
“The first time I made that statement was September a year ago. So if people ask me ‘how long will it take to see whether you’ll make money or not,’ I said a year,” Chen said. “So it will be September this year.”
On CNBC, Chen said that he “told everybody [at the conference] that I’m very close” to making money.
The executive also joined the bandwagon on how the smartphone industry has deflated a bit with the biggest symptom being Apple’s drop in sales last quarter.
“Last quarter, we did see some softening also,” Chen said, but added that “our numbers are more steady and it’s not big enough to make a big difference.”
BlackBerry’s outlook was said to be “good,” though. Chen’s so confident in fact that he’ll be moving the company onto segmented reporting in future earnings statements to see how well each of its products is doing.
We’ll let you off here with a carrot at the end of this stick: Chen zoomed in on when to expect those two new handsets we’ve been speculating about — the first one will be around the end of summer or start of fall while the other while the other should hit before the end of the company’s fiscal year at the end of February.