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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

No intention of selling handset business: BlackBerry CEO

PTI  New York, April 14, 2014
First Published: 18:26 IST(14/4/2014) | Last Updated: 18:30 IST(14/4/2014)

BlackBerry has no plans to sell its devices business even as the Canadian smartphone maker faces losses and inventory pile up.

"I want to assure you that I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon... Our focus today is on finding a way to make this business profitable," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said.

"I know you still love your BlackBerry devices. I love them too and I know they created the foundation of this company," he added.
Recent reports suggested that Ontario-headquartered firm was leaving the handset market.

"BlackBerry is not a handset-only company. We offer an end-to-end solution and devices are an important part of that equation," Chen said in the company's blog post.

He added that the company is "complementing" its devices business with other revenue streams from enterprise services and software to messaging.

"We are also investing in emerging solutions such as Machine to Machine technologies that will help to power the backbone of the Internet of Things," he said.

Chen said the company will do "everything in our power" to continue to rebuild business and deliver devices with the iconic keyboard and other features that users associate with the BlackBerry brand.

"Rest assured, we continue to fight. We have not given up and we are not leaving the Devices business," Chen reiterated.

For its fourth quarter ended February, BlackBerry reported a net loss of USD 423 million, while its revenue declined 64 per cent to USD 976 million.
Its revenues stood at USD 2.7 billion in the year-ago, December 2012-February 2013, quarter.

The firm sold about 3.4 million smartphones in Q4, including shipments made and recognised prior to the fourth quarter, which reduced the company's inventory in channel.

Of the BlackBerry smartphones sold through to end customers in the fourth quarter, about 2.3 million were BlackBerry 7 devices.

For the full financial year, its net loss widened to USD 5.9 billion from USD 646 million in the previous fiscal, while revenue fell 38 per cent to USD 6.8 billion.

Once a leader in the global smartphone market, BlackBerry lost market share steadily and now trails Samsung and Apple.

BlackBerry has also said it would sell most of its real estate holding in Canada to improve operational efficiencies in the face of mounting losses and unsold handset inventory.

Besides, it has already sold its US headquarters in Texas to Canadian Brookfield Property Group.


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