BlackBerry smartphones are here to stay, says company's new CEO

BlackBerry Z10
Hang on to that BlackBerry hardware

There are more twists and turns to the BlackBerry saga than a 99-cent romance novel, but one thing you can expect to stick around is the company's handset business.

Speaking with Reuters, interim CEO John Chen said there are no plans to shutter the loss-making smartphone side of BlackBerry's racket.

He added that BlackBerry has the resources to pull an 180.

"I know we have enough ingredients to build a long-term sustainable business," he said. "I have done this before and seen the same movie before."

Phone it in

Chen, who is replacing Thorsten Heins, didn't elaborate on what kind of phones BlackBerry would keep making. The company said in September it's ditching consumer handsets and instead focusing on enterprise and "prosumer-centric targeted devices."

It also said it would cut its phone portfolio from six to four.

Flush with $1 billion (about £62m, AU$1.05b) in fresh investor funding, BlackBerry could use some of that money to rebuild its damaged smartphones business. One place the funds won't find their way is to certain executive salaries, as Chen plans to shake up BlackBerry's upper ranks by bringing in new members and promoting others from within.

Chen said he expects a turnaround to take at least six quarters. We wish him luck, but the old CEO promised a turnaround too, and he's out of a job.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.