BlackBerry going back to basics, says new CEO

New CEO vows to turn Blackberry around
New CEO vows to turn Blackberry around


    New CEO vows to turn Blackberry around


New CEO vows to turn Blackberry around 03:35

Story highlights

  • Chen: "My strategy relies on the enterprise customer for the next one to two years"
  • Z3 and Q20 are first products emerging from partnership with electronics maker Foxconn
  • Asked if he would consider selling off BBM, Chen said: "I run a public company."
  • "Potential cannot be realized until we make money and then the company starts believing in itself"

BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the company will focus on attracting and keeping business customers as he implements his strategy to reverse its decline.

Speaking in Barcelona, where he unveiled the company's new Z3 and Q20 smartphones on Tuesday, Chen said: "My turnaround strategy relies on the enterprise customer for the next one to two years.

"In the meantime I actually want to make sure that we still have a very keen eye on the consumer space.

"By that time I hope if all my plans work -- a big if -- we will be a much more financially solid company, at which point in time you will see us being more aggressive into the other space."

The Z3 and Q20 will be the first products to emerge from BlackBerry's partnership with electronics maker Foxconn. Under the five-year agreement, Foxconn will develop and manufacture certain BlackBerry handsets, while the company focuses on software and its BlackBerry Messsaging service, BBM.

Although they unveiled the Q20 smartphone, which combines a physical keyboard with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, the company didn't show a prototype in Barcelona.

Hands on with the Galaxy S5
Hands on with the Galaxy S5


    Hands on with the Galaxy S5


Hands on with the Galaxy S5 02:44
Does Samsung's S5 deliver?
Does Samsung's S5 deliver?


    Does Samsung's S5 deliver?


Does Samsung's S5 deliver? 02:44
Can Facebook really 'connect the world'?
Can Facebook really 'connect the world'?


    Can Facebook really 'connect the world'?


Can Facebook really 'connect the world'? 03:24
Who will be the winners, losers of 2014?
Who will be the winners, losers of 2014?


    Who will be the winners, losers of 2014?


Who will be the winners, losers of 2014? 03:28

Speaking about the production of the Z3, Chen said: "It's the first collaboration between us and Foxconn. I don't think anybody has been able to put a phone together at this level this quickly and it will get into the hands of our consumers in exactly four months.

"The deal was signed between us and Foxconn on December 12, 2013, and we will see it in April."

BBM has been a talking point at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, following Facebook's blockbuster acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp last week for $19 billion. BBM boasts around 85 million monthly active users, compared with more than 450 million for WhatsApp.

Asked if he would consider selling off BBM, Chen said: "I run a public company. Anything that's good for our shareholder I have to entertain. Having said that, BBM is a huge part of our strategy going forwards.

"There are a lot more features and functionality that will be built up on it. It's an integral part of what value do we add to the enterprise [customer] and why should they continue with us."

BlackBerry unveiled a new version of its messaging service Tuesday called BBM Protected, with a focus on increased security for business clients.

He said raising confidence inside and outside the company is the biggest challenge he faces in the next 12 months.

"I need to make sure the employee is confident. I'm making a lot of changes which are a little more of a departure from the norms of the past.

"I've been in the business long enough to know this is really about 'show me.' At the end of the day they want to see that we can make progress as a company both in product and financially. Until I do that, all these things are interesting, relevant, capture a lot of attention, but the real potential cannot be realized until we make money and then the company starts believing in itself."

Read: The hottest gadgets at world's biggest mobile tech show

Read: Big data, big business, Big Brother?

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: WhatsApp 'worth more than $19 billion'

      Mobile World Congress

    • A woman wears the new Samsung Gear 2, right, and at the Samsung Gear Fit , left, at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Expected highlights include major product launches from Samsung and other phone makers, along with a keynote address by Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

      What were the key trends this year?

      Mobile World Congress spans the full spectrum of untethered gadgetry, from the next generation of mobile phone networks to wireless charging technology.
    • Big data, big business, big brother?

      Big Data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.
    • The hottest gadgets at MWC

      Mobile World Congress returned to form this year, with Samsung, Sony, and Huawei all choosing to launch flagship devices in Barcelona. These are my picks from the show:
    • Some Android phones can use eye-scanning security via the Eyeprint App Lock from EyeVerify, a demo of which is pictured. Several companies, such as Agnitio, are developing voice recognition systems.

      7 surprising smartphone features

      Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona Monday and amid the hoopla of new super-phones, largely unknown technologies will be revealed. And it will be these that change our lives.
    • Soledad O'Brien interviews Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook's offices in New York on March 13.

      Where are the women in tech?

      With a lack of gender diversity in the tech sector, the time has come to make women in ICT a norm rather than the exception
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: A 3D printed prosthetic arm is displayed in the exhibition '3D: printing the future' in the Science Museum on October 8, 2013 in London, England. The exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow, features over 600 3D printed objects ranging from: replacement organs, artworks, aircraft parts and a handgun. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

      10 lifesaving mobile features

      The medical and healthcare sectors are in the midst of rapid change, and it can be difficult to see which new technologies will have a long-lasting impact.
    • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the Newseum September 18, 2013 in Washington, DC

      What is WhatsApp really worth?

      Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said WhatsApp was "worth more than $19 billion" during a speech given at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday.
    • Michael Jackson performs on stage at the taping of the ?American Bandstand?s 50th ? A Celebration!", to air on ABC TV on May 3, 2002. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)

      Sony teams up with Jacko estate

      Sony has announced a tie-up with the estate of Michael Jackson, allowing them to use his music to promote the release of a new smartphone.
    • Anne Lise Kjaer

      Mobile tech shapes future finance

      Financial transactions have always been at the heart of our society, but growing smartphone and Internet penetration are inspiring new, disruptive approaches.
    • A visitor of the "NEXT Berlin" conference tries out the Google Glass on April 24, 2013 in Berlin. "NEXT Berlin" describes itself as "a meeting place for the European digital industry". Organisers say that at the conference, "marketing decision-makers and business developers meet technical experts and creative minds to discuss what will be important in the next 12 months". The conference is running from April 23 to 24, 2013.       AFP PHOTO / OLE SPATA / GERMANY OUT        (Photo credit should read Ole Spata/AFP/Getty Images)

      How not to be a 'Glasshole'

      Google has heard all the concerns about Glass, its digital headset expected to hit the market by the end of the year.
    • These iron-on cases were made to attach to workout clothes so that you can run and cycle with two free hands.

      5 fitness apps that get results

      Looking for a new way to reach your fitness goals? Now's the time to check out some of the hottest fitness apps as 2014 gets underway.
    • The Philips Fluid concept phone has a bendy organic light-emitting diode, which means it can be wrapped around the wrist as a watch or bracelet or used as a normal mobile phone.

      Full coverage from MWC14

      See full coverage from the world's biggest mobile technology conference in Barcelona, Spain.