John Chen, Blackberry, Code Conference

Asa Mathat


BlackBerry CEO John Chen admits that one of the things that contributed to BlackBerry’s decline was that it lost sight of its audience, building products for consumers and enterprise users but not necessarily serving the needs of either. But the company has a renewed focus now.

“We’re going back to our enterprise roots,” Chen said onstage at the Code Conference. “I don’t really want to comment on past management decisions, but we cast our net a little too broad. At the same time, we haven’t really added value to the enterprise space.”

As a result, Chen said, it cost BlackBerry to unconsciously fight the BYOD (bring your own device) movement, and that was the wrong move.

Going forward, the company plans to focus on building products — phones, security systems, an app ecosystem, servers and more — that address the needs of its core audience.

Chen mentioned that the company is working on a handset designed for certain verticals, like the medical profession, and is heavily tied to relevant applications.

But how do you get developers to create apps for a dying platform?

“We’re working on some of that stuff,” said Chen. “We’re going to have to tie ourself in some way — and I don’t know what the innovative way is yet — to preserve the BlackBerry value add of security, productivity and collaboration.”



From my POV as a developer of native BlackBerry Business Apps I really recommend to develop for this platform. BlackBerry 10 OS and Cascades enable developers to write business apps focussed on smooth workflows and productivity. As soon as I'm demonstrating my apps to Enterprise Customers there's no more discussion about using BB10 as platform or not. Productivity counts.

I couldn't write same kind of apps on Android or iOS.

It's great that BB10 also supports Android Apps in private perimeter - so users can have the games they want for your spare time and on the other side inside the work perimeter they get a secure environment.

Combine this with future projects like Ion for secure IoT Cloud or eBBM for secure communication: who will name this a dying platform ?


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