BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen posted an open letter on Thursday, October 29th promoting the BlackBerry Classic phone. He was trying to convey the message that iconic smartphone manufacturer is not leaving the consumer mobile phone market.
Chen praises BlackBerry Classic
The phone, which was previously dubbed the Q20, is Blackberry’s attempt to revive its core strength of a physical QWERTY keyboard, navigation keys and trackpad.
The BlackBerry Classic has been designed by Foxconn targeting the big business and government agencies. The phone is expected to launch by the end of the year. Chen wrote in a letter, “BlackBerry Classic reflects that. It is classic BlackBerry — complete with a top row of navigation keys and a trackpad.” He added that the device is comfortable to hold in your hand. The CEO said that there are a few changes in the phone around the edges and on the inside. For one, the screen is bigger as well as sharper.
According to Chen, the application catalog of BlackBerry is increasing, and the BlackBerry 10 operating system has the best productivity and collaboration features of any mobile device, including the BlackBerry Hub and all-new BlackBerry Blend.
Need to focus on strengths
As of now, the company is trying to stay away from the highly competitive consumer market, but even retaining corporate customers will be challenging for the company. Large corporations and government agencies are moving away from BlackBerry phones and turning towards Apple’s iPhones and devices running on Google’s Android system.
From the letter, it seems that Chen plans to move away from offering trendy phones like iPhone, but plans to offer “classic” phones. Chen is trying to hang onto loyal customers of BlackBerry as well as bring in potential new buyers.
However, estimates by the Research firm IDC does not jibe with Chen’s plans. In May, the research firm said that it expects a 49.6% decline in sales volume in 2014, equivalent to 9.7 million units. Also, the report noted that in the future, volumes are estimated to drop another 4.6 million units by 2018. There will be consistent doubt over the survival of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) as the market share will drop to1% in 2014, and “the only way the company will be viable is likely through a niche approach based on its security assets.”