The turnaround is ahead of schedule, says BlackBerry CEO John Chen
“We are a little ahead of our two-year turnaround and strategy,” said BlackBerry CEO John Chen at a briefing outside Mobile World Congress. “The company financially is stabilizing. We made a little bit of money last quarter. We’re going to be making more money. We’re going to be generating more cash.” AT&T and Verizon are carrying BlackBerry devices again, and Chen says that the positive results from the previous quarter is a sign of things to come.
One of the ways in which they plan to generate more cash is to sell more devices, of which they’re planning to release 4 this year. The one they showed off yesterday was the BlackBerry Leap, which is expected to be released this spring and sell for $275 unlocked. Aimed at the “young career builder”, this BlackBerry is an all-touch device, runs apps from BlackBerry World and Android apps from the Amazon Appstore, and boasts a battery life of 25 hours (“based on a heavy usage scenario on a power user profile”). It’s the phone aimed at getting ambitious twentysomethings back into the BlackBerry fold.
BlackBerry plan to introduce three other devices, all of which feature the physical keyboards that are their mark in trade. One of these is a curved-screen device with a slide-out physical keyboard, and will be released “as soon as it’s done,” in Chen’s own words.
There are other ways in which BlackBerry is working on making more money:
- For starters, there’s a focus on software, most notably the “BlackBerry Experience”, a set of packages to improve security and communications for government and business customers, and “Work Life” which makes it possible to separate billing and communications on employee-liable devices into “work” and “personal” categories.
- Patent licensing is another avenue for money-making. BlackBerry has 45,000 patents, and Chen isn’t afraid to share for a price. “I’m not a believer in holding on to your secret sauces,” he said.
- Chen also remarked that he’d be open to releasing another tablet, saying “It’s not in the works, but on my mind.”
Goodies from SanDisk
SanDisk have introduced a number of goodies, the most notable of which is a 200GB microSD card that boasts a 90MBs data-transfer speed. Simply put, it’s holds a lot of data, and can move it about quickly. It doesn’t come cheap, though: it’s priced at US$400 and becomes available in the second quarter.
Their new 64GB card doesn’t have as impressive an amount of storage, but it makes up for it in durability. Most flash cards are made for intermittent use, and not meant to be accessed continuously, which means that often-used video cameras such as those for car dashboards and security systems can overtax them. SanDisk’s new high-endurance cards can take this sort of use. The 64GB version will sell for $150, and a 32GB version will sell for $85.
And finally, there are the new Dual Drive and iXpand flash drives for boosting your mobile devices’ storage capabilities. The Dual Drive features 2 USB 3.0 connectors and provides 32GB of pluggable storage for your Android phone or tablet. The iXpand drive has Lightning and USB connectors for bringing an addition 128GB to your iOS device.
See us at MWC!
We’re in Barcelona to see what’s new at MWC, and to talk to people! In attendance are:
- Dan Goorno, our Vice President, Strategic Alliances,
- Bob Herzich, our Director of Business Development, and
- Bob Goulet, our Director of Channel Sales.
Want to meet up with us while we’re there? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.