BlackBerry CEO more optimistic

Things are looking up at BlackBerry, according to CEO John Chen.

At a conference in California on Wednesday he put the odds of survival of the company at 80 per cent, up from 50-50 he gave in March.

It’s not clear why he’s more optimistic. Maybe we’ll know June 19, when the Waterloo, Ont., company’s next quarterly results will be released. In March, when the company last released numbers, Chen said that “BlackBerry is on sounder financial footing today with a path to returning to growth and profitability” in part due to cost-cutting.

“We have a lot of problems, but it’s not dead,” a number of sites, including and Bloomberg News quoted him as saying yesterday. “I am quite confident that we’ll be able to save the patient.”

The company has been quite busy in the last 30 days. A week ago Chen announced Project Ion, its play for the Internet of Things, which includes encouraging companies to develop M2M applications on a QNX-based platform. QNX, which is BlackBerry’s next-generation software and the basis for its BB 10 operating system, can securely manage high volumes of data, the company argues.

The strategy will see BlackBerry build an Internet of Things ecosystem of developers and carriers for connecting Internet-enabled devices. To further this, BlackBerry has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium.

The Project Ion platform is still in beta.

Also this month BlackBerry (TSX: BB) said it will open BB 10 to rival mobile management systems from AirWatch, Citrix, SAP and IBM so their platforms can include BlackBerrys for device management.

It also revealed that it will soon expand the availability of its services to be cloud-based, giving customers the opportunity to gain access to them without on-premise software.

Finally, it launched the Z3 handset in Indonesia, a device with a 5-in. touch screen that the company says is for India and Asian markets.

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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