BlackBerry will quit handset business if it doesn’t become profitable “shortly”

UPDATE: BlackBerry CEO John Chen has issued a statement that BlackBerry is not leaving the handset business.

[divider]In an interview with Reuters, BlackBerry CEO John Chen, is quoted as saying that he  would consider exiting its handset business if it remains unprofitable.

The interesting parts is that he states the time frame is short for making that decision but didn’t clarify his definition of a “short” timeframe.

As the company looks to expand its corporate reach with investments, acquisitions and partnerships, it is hardly surprising that exiting the handset business is something that he would consider.

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John Chen stated:

“If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business,”, adding that the time frame for such a decision was short. He would not be more specific.

In a Video interview, Chen does say though that he can see the handsets becoming profitable.

Chen, said BlackBerry was also looking to invest in or team up with other companies in regulated industries such as healthcare, and financial and legal services, all of which require highly secure communications.

The chief executive said small acquisitions to strengthen BlackBerry’s network security offerings were also possible.