BlackBerry: yes, we do still make phones

Update: Chen confirms BlackBerry is NOT leaving handset business

CEO of sightly ailing mobile giant BlackBerry, John Chen has refuted own comments in a Reuters article, saying his musings were taken "out of context".

Update: BlackBerry's CEO John Chen has confirmed that BlackBerry will not be leaving the smartphone market anytime soon after an interview with Reuters suggested otherwise.

Writing on BlackBerry's official blog Chen made it clear that his primary focus is making sure the smartphone element of BlackBerry's portfolio profitable.

"Yesterday, Reuters published an article that said I would consider selling our Devices business. My comments were taken out of context."

"I want to assure you Ithat I have no intention of selling off or abandoning this business any time soon. I know you still love your BlackBerry devices.

Original: Speaking on Wednesday, BlackBerry chief executive John Chen said that he is prepared to kill off its smartphone division if it does not turn around soon.

“If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,” Chen said in an interview with news agency Reuters.

He refused to be drawn on a deadline for a turnaround, but did say he would make a decsion shortly.

BlackBerry has seen its share of the smartphone market collapse in the last five years. Increased competition from Apple and Google has seen it pushed out of the high-end market it used to dominate.

The company has also struggled to convince gadget fans to buy into its latest touchscreen devices like the BlackBerry Z10, which runs BB10.

BlackBerry recently said it had made a loss of $423 million in the three months leading up to March 1st. That compared with a profit of $98 million during the same three months in 2013.

However, Chen stressed dumping its mobile phone business did not mean it would leave the mobile business entirely. During the video interview with Reuters, he said that he intends to keep working on BB10 hinting he might open it up like with iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8.

He also said that the company would also continue investing in software services like BBM.

While BlackBerry is struggling in the mobile phone space, it has had more success in some other areas, such as software. It recently made huge gains in the motor sector when its QNX software was picked as the basis for smartphone connectivity in many upcoming models.

Source: Reuters