CDN Top Newsmaker: BlackBerry’s John Chen

In 2016 we said good bye to the BlackBerry smartphone. Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry
CEO John Chen made the historic decision to exit the hardware business and leave development of future smartphones to its partners.

This decision was a sad news announcement for Canadian innovation as BlackBerry was at one time the darlings of the mobile generation.

Previously, Chen had said that if BlackBerry’s hardware business was not profitable within its current fiscal year, it would exit.

Chen said the company planned to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners allowing the company to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.

He added that BlackBerry reached an inflection point with its strategy. While the financial foundation is strong, the company had already pivoted to software and that strategy is taking hold.

What it meant to BlackBerry smartphone supporters was that the devices would be pushed to market in a similar fashion to the DTEK50. Rather than develop the hardware for the device internally, BlackBerry chose to use a design created by TCL, the parent company of Alcatel. Also, the devices will continue to run on Android, meaning that BlackBerry is now branding phones where it neither designs the hardware or the OS being used.

Speaking of those financials. BlackBerry reported a 31.8 per cent drop in year-over-year revenue for the second quarter, with a net loss of $372 million. But aside from one-time write-downs, BlackBerry says it broke even. Chen focused on an improvement to its software and services revenue, which was $156 million for the quarter.

As for the channel, BlackBerry did hire a strong veteran channel leader in Richard McLeod from Cisco Systems. And, McLeod got to work in a hurry creating a new channel program and renewed focus on solution providers as the company’s next big go-to-market approach.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

CDN Staff
CDN Staff
For over 25 years, CDN has been the voice of the IT channel community in Canada. Today through our digital magazine, e-mail newsletter, video reports, events and social media platforms, we provide channel partners with the information they need to grow their business.

Related Tech News

Featured Tech Jobs


CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.