The Truth Behind BlackBerry's Mixed Messages

BlackBerry definitely doesn't want to give up on hardware, but the reality is that the company may not have a choice in the long-run if it can't make phones profitably.

Apr 13, 2014 at 2:00PM

A remark by the CEO of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) during a Reuters interview has erupted into a series of speculative headlines that the company would be exiting its hardware business. CEO John Chen's quote at the center of the confusion was "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business." Chen later issued an explanation in a blog post, saying that the quote was taken out of context, and that BlackBerry remains committed to handsets, but just needs to make them profitable.

In this segment from Friday's Tech Teardown, Motley Fool tech and telecom bureau chief Evan Niu takes a look behind the headlines at Chen's difficult position between the interests of consumers and the interests of shareholders. Announcing an exit to its hardware business would deal a major blow to any further handset sales, but the hardware portion of BlackBerry's business has been operating at a loss for some time now. Evan discusses some of the strategic steps the company is taking at the moment, and notes that if BlackBerry can't stabilize its hardware business, it will eventually be forced to exit.

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Erin Kennedy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Evan Niu, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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