BlackBerry CEO John Chen spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Maria Bartiromo during Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo about BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s handset business.

Chen said, “I actually do plan on making money in the handset business and I don’t have any plans to jettison the handset business.” When asked about how long he expects the handset business to turn profit Chen said, it “is going to take about 6-8 quarters and somewhere before that 6-8 quarters is going to have to happen” otherwise “we need to do something different.” Chen went on to discuss BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s patent business saying they’ve had outside interest to sell their patents, “but that’s not what we are going to do. I am not in the process of selling off patents, I am actually creating more patents as I go along.” Chen went on to talk about the potential growth rate in the patent business saying, “we haven’t even started a patent business, but it is something that I am looking at intensely. I think there’s an opportunity there for the company and for our shareholders.” Chen also commented when the company plans to stop making cuts, saying, “We are almost done [cutting]. I am sorry that we had to go through that phase” and that “I think it’s more like 90 than 50 [percent done] … we’re almost there” and “we are working on shoring those up and investing money back into the customer facing side of the equation.”

John chen BlackBerry

Excerpts from the interview are below.

John Chen On whether he is going to sell the handset business if he doesn’t make money on it:

“I’m glad you mention it in the sense that if I don’t make money. I actually do plan on making money in the handset business and I don’t have any plans to jettison the handset business. We love the handset business and it’s really an identity for us. So I put out a kind of milestone for us to make money in less than two years and I still hold to that milestone, so I’m good with that. And handset being such a big part of our business, that implied that we need to make money by then.”

John Chen On how long he expects the handset business to turn a profit:

“I’ve been very open about the turnaround is going to take about 6-8 quarters and somewhere before that 6-8 quarters is going to have to happen…If we could not make our handset business profitable, and that could not actually make the company profitable in eight quarters, than that we need to do something different.”

On whether they are looking to sell off their patents:

“From time to time, but that’s not what we are going to do. I am not in the process of selling off patents, I am actually creating more patents as I go along. But I would love to share those patents…and people can license from us.”

On potential growth rate in the patent business:

“In the patent business, we haven’t even started a patent business, but it is something that I am looking at intensely. I think there’s an opportunity there for the company and for our shareholders. As far as the BBM business, we are growing quite well. We now have 115 million registered subscribers and we’ve announced that we are putting on a Windows platform, and so we should expect a pretty good uptick. I don’t know what the real growth rate is going to be, but the more important thing is how we monetize it. The monthly active use is roughly 85 million right now I am hoping by the end of the year we at least get close to 100 million if not more. But the registered users is going to be a lot higher.”

John Chen On whether he’s done cutting:

“We are almost done [cutting]. I am sorry that we had to go through that phase. It’s necessary but it’s a prudent thing we had to do. I never see how a company can turn around by keep cutting. You need to invest, you need to turn around and you need to focus on growth.”

On how much more cutting he’s planning to do:

“I think it’s more like 90 than 50 [percent done] … we’re almost there. It affected a lot of our loyal employees, which it’s a really bad thing. It affected some of our customer interactions, which is a terrible thing. So we are working on shoring those up and investing money back into the customer facing side of the equation. We definitely have a different attitude right now and we are focusing on where we can grow the good assets we have. I think our cost space is about where it should be at this point.”

On whether there’s a potential buyer in the market for the handset business:

“I don’t think this is how I think about it. Our business is going to be very concentrated in software and end to end solutions. Handset is just a point of them. We have the handset business, the server business, we have the messaging business in BBM, and the embedded business. And the whole thing actually tied to each other to provide something called machine to machine interactions. If the handset business for some reason I am unable to make profitable in hardware, but a lot of software in there that can be used as part of our system or I can license to other people…One thing about BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), we have 44,000 patents. I think there’s a lot of business to be had in just collaborating in the industry and licensing to others. I’d be more than open to license to anybody for that matter.”

On what areas of the business he’d like to monetize better:

“Our server business has been under monetized. We have 80,000 installation around the world but we aren’t making a lot of money there. Some of the serve in the past have literally been given away. I think we need to add a lot more value to it and then we need to start charging for that technology. BBM is one I think that is going to be  a good as integrated into the enterprise world.  I’d like to have a secure messaging system for every company using BBM. And its secure and highly reliable. And then the embedded space. We have this product called QNX which is embedded microkernals, right now we have dominant connected car market shares. But the connected car industry is just coming to age and you see us putting those into medical, financial industry, retail, machines industry, manufacturing and so far.”

Oh making money against his competitors:

“There are a number of them.  I think there’s the cost part of the equation and then there’s distribution part of the equation and there’s a product part of the equation.  So the cost part of the equation, you can see that we have good partnership with different supply chains like Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) and other supply chain partners that work with us.  In the distribution part of the equation, I’m now concentrating on distribution agreements, carriers agreements around the world, that actually

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