BlackBerry denies it's looking to leave the handset market

BlackBerry denies it's looking to leave the handset market
Panic over, BlackBerry isn't going anywhere.

Update: BlackBerry CEO John Chen has taken to the firm's official blog to clarify the Reuters article which said it was thinking about leaving the handset business. In short, it's not.

Chen writes: "I want to assure you that I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon.‎

"I know you still love your BlackBerry devices. I love them too and I know they created the foundation of this company. Our focus today is on finding a way to make this business profitable."

He finishes on: "We have not given up and we are not leaving the Devices business." So there you have it.

Original story...

It would be an understatement to say that BlackBerry has been having a tough time of things lately, as the company made a net loss of $423 million last quarter alone. But new CEO John Chen is committed to turning the company around, even if that means abandoning smartphones entirely.

As part of an interview on Wednesday Chen claimed that "if I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business" according to Reuters. He also claimed that one way or another he'd have to make the decision soon.

So what would it take for BlackBerry to make money on handsets? Around 10 million shipped phones per year apparently, which isn't a huge quantity, especially when you consider that back in 2011 BlackBerry shipped 52.3 million devices.

Sinking ship?

But the company is a lot weaker than it once was, down from a 20% smartphone market share in 2009 to less than 2% now.

Even if the company does continue with consumer smartphones it doesn't sound like that side of the business will be such a focus any more, as Chen claimed that "we are not going to spend any more money to maintain the latest version of Angry Birds." Going forward the company will focus on business clients instead.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.