BlackBerry CEO John Chen was interviewed by CNN earlier today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. He did face some tough questioning on a number of issues including the BlackBerry Leap, BlackBerry’s expansion into the software and services business and the company’s future prospects.
CNN interview here
Overall I thought that he did well, but what I found hard to believe was some the assumptions made by the reporter. It was clear from her line of questioning that she did not understand BlackBerry’s diversification strategy.
For more than a year, CEO Chen has emphasized that a big part of his strategy involves leveraging BBM, the NOC, BES12, QNX and the two latest company acquisitions, Secusmart and Movirtu and its patents as a means of increasing their software and services revenue while reducing its dependence on hardware sales. Her assumption was that by building their software business, BlackBerry was cannibalizing instead of complementing their hardware business.
CEO Chen has always said that keyboard devices were an integral part of BlackBerry’s device business. Despite this, the reporter made an assumption that BlackBerry was leaving the keyboard device business because their latest released smartphone, the BlackBerry Leap was touchscreen device.
What she does not realize is that BlackBerry is not sitting still, but is continually innovating and positioning themselves to be an integral part of technological areas such as the Internet of things. Under CEO Chen’s leadership, BlackBerry is thinking three steps ahead of its competitors by bringing some of its technology to its their platforms so that it can profit from their sales.
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