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Thursday, April 10, 2014
BlackBerry May Exit Handsets If Necessary: CEO

BlackBerry could exit the handset business if it remains unprofitable, its chief executive officer said in an interview on Wednesday, but later he scrambled to counter his own words.

"If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business," John Chen said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, adding that the time frame for such a decision was short.

But Chen later used the company's blog to say that Reuters took his comments out of context.

"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," Chen said.However, he added that BlackBerry was not a handset-only company, so the company was complementing its Devices business with other revenue streams from enterprise services and software, to messaging.

Chen said that Blackberry was also investing in emerging solutions such as Machine to Machine technologies that would help to power the backbone of the Internet of Things.

Chen had told Reuters that BlackBerry was also looking to invest in or team up with other companies in regulated industries such as healthcare, and financial and legal services, all of which require highly secure communications. T he chief executive said small acquisitions to strengthen BlackBerry's network security offerings were also possible.

In March, the Canadian smartphone maker reported a quarterly net loss of $423 million and a 64 percent drop in its revenues. The company has lost most of the smartphone market to Apple's iPhone and gadgets powered by Android operating system.

Chen added that Blackberry would focus on secure communications offered by BlackBerry's BBM platform.

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