BlackBerry to Cut New Phone Models to 1–2 Per Year

by Istvan Fekete on July 27, 2015

BlackBerry’s CEO says the company will reduce the number of phones it releases per year. Until now, we’ve seen four new BlackBerry phones every year, but Jack Chen says he has plans to release only one or two high-end devices to save costs and focus more on enterprise software services.

“We make four phones a year… We are not going to do that anymore,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen told Fox Business. “We are going to at least cut it down to a lot less number, maybe two, maybe one… and [shift] those resources [to] the security and software side.”

Also, in an interesting comment to Bloomberg, Chen says Blackberry will no longer target the low end of the smartphone market, as it is already overcrowded by a wide range of Chinese and Indian smartphone vendors. “It’ll be a high-end phone that you can walk into AT&T and get it, as a professional,” Chen told the publication. “The low-end phone is not BlackBerry’s sweet spot.”

That’s rather interesting in the light of the recently released BlackBerry Leap, a smartphone targeting consumers who want an inexpensive device.

However, Chen’s comments shouldn’t come as a surprise: If we look at the most recent International Data Company (IDC) data, BlackBerry sold fewer units in 2014 than in 2013. To put that into numbers: The company shipped just 5.8 million units in 2014, accounting for only 0.4% of worldwide smartphone shipments. By comparison, the company shipped 19.2 million units in 2013, grabbing 1.9% of the world market.

What Chen did was to successfully prevent the failing smartphone manufacturer from entering freefall by shifting focus from smartphones to enterprise software.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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