iPhone 6: Help Or Hindrance For BlackBerry Ltd?

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While many analysts believe the larger iPhone 6 is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s key to grabbing a larger share of the market, not everyone necessarily holds this view. In fact, John Chen, CEO of the struggling BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), sees the iPhone 6 not only as a win for Apple, but also a win for his company.

The iPhone 6 to help BlackBerry?

It seems like a pretty strange notion on the surface, as BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is trying to orchestrate a massive turnaround. The company struck a deal with Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) (OTCMKTS:FXCOF) so that it could design and build low-end smartphones targeted at emerging markets. Meanwhile BlackBerry also continues to plan high-end devices that will compete head to head with the iPhone 6.

Speaking at Re/code’s Code Conference (video via CNBC), the BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO said their focus is mostly on its enterprise business. He noted that any enterprise customer that upgrades to the BlackBerry 10 server right now will receive a free license to upgrade to the new BlackBerry 12 server, which will be launched in November.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s new servers support multiple platforms, so at the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily matter which smartphones are being used on the company’s server. The enterprise focus means there is more emphasis on the server and less on the company’s smartphones. Chen said he hopes customers will see BlackBerry as “a very robust platform” and that he sees the iPhone 6 as a big positive rather than a negative.

“I want more and more devices out there,” Chen added.

Chen says Z3 reception has been good

When asked about the new Z3 handset which BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) launched in Indonesia recently, Chen said reception has been “quite good” and that he doesn’t know the source of the report that claimed it wasn’t doing well. He said he looked into local stores, carriers and other retailers of the Z3 and found that demand for the handset “seems to be pretty good.”

Chen also explained that the Z3 is “just one small part” of their turnaround plan and that it isn’t right to judge BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s turnaround based on that one handset.

BlackBerry to update turnaround

The BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO also said he will share more metrics on their next earnings call. He said that so far, he is “encouraged” that they’re doing well pushing further into the enterprise face. He noted that there is still much to do but said that they’re doing it.

Chen also said he isn’t planning any more job cuts at BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), emphasizing that they’re “in the tail end” of their restructuring efforts. The struggling company has been announcing round after round of job cuts, so this is welcome news to investors, who pushed shares of BlackBerry higher in premarket trading. The stock rose nearly 3% at the NASDAQ this morning before opening bell.

The executive continues to expect to be profitable after next February.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at [email protected]

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