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April 10, 2014

Blackberry looks to dump handset business

It will continue developing its mobile OS, software business and enterprise server services.

By CBR Staff Writer

Struggling Canadian smartphone maker, BlackBerry, is considering parting ways with its handset business if the company continues to lose money in mobile business, which was once its life blood.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen told Reuters: "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business."

BlackBerry is also considering investments or collaborations with other firms in regulated industries including healthcare, and financial and legal services, which have need of extremely secure communications.

Exiting from mobile phone-business does not essentially signify that the smartphone maker would concede defeat in highly competitive smartphone market, as the CEO noted that the company would still continue developing its mobile OS, software business, and enterprise server services.

"We are not only interested in managing BlackBerry devices. We are interested in managing all devices that you would like to speak to each other," Chen added.

"To achieve our dream of being a major player in M2M requires more partnerships with others."

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Chen is also considering small acquisitions to bolster the company’s network security offerings.

"We are building an engineering team on the service side that is focused on security. We are building an engineering team on the device side that is focused on security," Chen added.

"We will do some partnerships and we will probably, potentially do an M&A on security."

In November, Blackberry’s plan to be sold to its biggest shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings for $4.7bn was cancelled, while it rather considered raising $1bn (£627m) of finance.

However, BlackBerry’s board also rejected proposals from Microsoft, Apple and Lenovo among several other tech firms to acquire different units of the company.

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