A remark by the CEO of BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) 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.