Tag: blackberry smartphone

BlackBerry mobile devices of the future will be based on Android

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.

Mobile Devices - Blackberry AndroidChen 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.

Mobile technology talent isn’t easy to retain, says BlackBerry CEO

As the company works to rebuild itself, John Chen has explained that good talent is hard to keep.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has now stated that it is not only difficult to find good mobile technology talent, but it is also very hard to keep it, which is clearly a challenge that the company is facing as it works on rebuilding.

This challenge becomes much harder when trying to hire on a last-minute basis, while avoiding lost time.

Chen spoke in a Thomson Reuters interview, last week, at the third annual Waterloo Innovation Summit in Canada. He explained that the main problem is to figure out how not to waste time at the last minute when talent is needed. In 2011, BlackBerry mobile technology had been an employer of 11,000 people in the Waterloo Region of Ontario, Canada.. However, today’s figure has dwindled to 2,700 workers in 2015.

During that period, a great deal of mobile technology talent was lost from the company as it tried to survive.

Mobile Technology - BlackBerry CEO John ChenIn the interview, Chen expressed that “We lost a lot of good people as a company. Not everybody is cut out to be a turnaround person or be in a turnaround environment. But if you can do it – I love it -it is fascinating, it is fabulous. The reward that comes at the end, the feeling of it, is hard to describe.”

Chen is now coming close to completing his second year at the helm of BlackBerry. The company had once been the leader in the smartphone category, but its slice of the market is now under 1 percent. The CEO’s strategy involves attracting and keeping the best talent in order to ensure the company’s return to success. In his opinion, this is the greatest challenge that the company is facing, as the goal is to change the turnaround plan from having been the smartphone manufacturing leader into being a company with a focus on internet, software, and services.

The BlackBerry CEO has said that the mobile technology market and its competition can’t be allowed to dictate the future of this category. Instead, he believes that it is up to the participants to carve out the path, and that requires time and patience to accomplish effectively.