BlackBerry didn't have the best of luck in 2013, from several failed product launches to rolling layoffs the company struggled to make it through the year while competitors like Samsung, Apple and even Microsoft saw strong mobile sales. With just a few days left before the new year begins, newly-appointed CEO John Chen took to CNBC's website to outline the company's strategy for 2014 and beyond.
According to Chen, BlackBerry has already bounced back—at least strategically—taking on a new outlook that focuses on the traits it was once known for: security and enterprise. He also promises to make several new hires in 2014, marking the first time in recent memory the Waterloo company will bring in new employees instead of shedding old ones.
BlackBerry's strategy for the future is also clearly focused on services, including its messaging app BBM and the QNX operating system it acquired back in 2010. Chen boasts 40 million iOS and Android users already registered with the BBM app, and promises to turn the once-popular messaging platform into a future revenue stream. He also notes that QNX, which formed the backbone of BlackBerry 10, is already a leader in the auto industry, and teases new QNX-based cloud services coming next month at CES 2014.
Despite a year full of blunders, Chen believes BlackBerry still stands a chance in 2014, pointing to a new deal with Foxconn, $3 billion in the bank and a slimmed down company which he refers to multiple times as "nimble." While many predicted BlackBerry would be torn apart and sold for scraps in 2013, the company appears to have made it through the year alive. Whether we'll be able to say the same thing by the end of 2014 is unclear, but for now things may actually be looking up in Waterloo.