At the Code Mobile conference in California today, BlackBerry CEO John Chen told the crowd that the company would drop its mobile division if it can’t make a profit from it within the next year.
In order for the company to turn a profit, Chen says that they need to sell approximately five million devices per year. The Waterloo-based company, which sold 800,000 mobile devices last quarter, has been teasing its exit from the smartphone business for some time.
The majority of the company’s future depends on the success of the Android-powered Priv, which is expected to be released this November. The smartphone, which Chen revealed during its recent earnings call, runs what appears to be a pure version of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with some of BlackBerry’s own security enhancements.
The Priv also has a slide-out keyboard that sits underneath the screen. The majority of consumers that stick with BlackBerry handsets love the physical keyboard. BlackBerry is looking to bring their iconic keyboard to a phone that runs Android, after their own BB10 operating system has not seen much success among consumers.
Chen firmly believes that the future of BlackBerry is tied to the sale of software and services. It is still unclear whether the company will release a new BB10-powered device in the coming months, or if it will let the Priv sit on its own. The Priv certainly looks like a nice product and we will have to wait a year in order to find out if the gamble on the device worked.
Do you think the BlackBerry Priv will be a success? Or is it too late for the company to resurrect their mobile hardware business? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
[via The Verge]