In a recent CNBC interview, BlackBerry CEO John Chen stated optimistically that the company’s smartphone unit will turn profitable in the near future.
Not long ago, Chen insisted that “hardware profitability” is important to BlackBerry, among other software and services business. In the recent interview, he said that BlackBerry is very close to achieving the goal. Amid rumors of shutting down the hardware unit, Chen reiterated that he truly believes this company will be making smartphones for a longtime.
Furthermore, Chen reportedly told CNBC that the company is gearing up to release two BlackBerry handsets between “now and later this year.” He also confidently stated that BlackBerry has a hardware roadmap beyond the two devices under development.
Part of BlackBerry’s Q4 fiscal 2016 losses should be attributed to the not-so-impressive sales numbers of the Android Lollipop-powered BlackBerry Priv, released toward the end of 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported. This phone comes with a retro-styled physical QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the back and it also has two curved edges. Not to forget, the Priv by BlackBerry is the company’s first Android handset.
BlackBerry reportedly sold about 600,000 units of smartphones in Q4. In an earlier interview, Chen noted that if BlackBerry cannot make the hardware unit profitable, the company may look at other avenues like software and services, Phone Arena reported.
According to the Journal, BlackBerry’s mobile-based software and services business helped the company in the latest quarter. However, nearly 30 percent loss in revenue shows the company is struggling with the hardware unit.
BlackBerry’s sales from software and services business accounted for $153 million in that quarter, with the total standing at $527 million for the fiscal year, ending Feb. 29. It is worth noting that the target was apparently $500 million. Even though it surpassed the target by a slight margin, the Canadian tech giant’s overall revenue for the quarter dropped to $464 million.