As the company misses its predicted financial goals for the second quarter, it has launched its latest turnaround strategy.
As BlackBerry continues to watch the sale of its smartphones withering, CEO John Chen has announced that he is launching a controversial new way to draw appeal back to these mobile devices: Android.
Until now, the company has always based its smartphones on its own operating system.
This new strategy will have BlackBerry mobile device running on an operating system from another company for the first time. This will occur in the form of the upcoming Priv smartphone that will be launched later this year. That gadget is going to be built on the popular Android operating system from Google. This has been a decision that has been greatly debated at BlackBerry and that Chen has admitted is still considered to be quite controversial there.
The decision to take on Android could allow the company to overcome a main challenge to their mobile devices.
Chen explained that one of the primary reasons that people have not been picking up BlackBerry smartphones is because the operating system doesn’t allow for many of the favorite popular apps that consumers want to be able to use. Many customers and businesses wouldn’t mind the smartphones but the apps they want or need just aren’t available on the company’s operating system. However, by releasing gadgets that are based on Android, this allows the company to completely sidestep that issue.
Chen explained that “I am now going to eliminate apps as an excuse not to buy our phone,” adding that “We’ll see how it goes.”
In the middle of all the financial struggles that BlackBerry has faced over the last handful of years, the limited number of apps – and the lack of the most popular apps – has been a constant and sizeable problem that has worked against the company.
Chen attempted to partner with the Amazon Appstore in order to put that problem behind them in 2014. Amazon’s mobile app offerings are already in the thousands for Android based device users. However, the failure of Amazon’s own smartphone left Chen with less than he had hoped. Now, the goal is to show that the Priv will provide customers with everything they want and expect from the brand’s mobile devices, but with the app offerings that have been missing.