They're the words that caused an uproar in the BlackBerry community. "If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business." These words, spoken by BlackBerry CEO John Chen, pushed BlackBerry fans, fansites and the media into a froth at the mouth frenzy.
Now here is timeline in what transpired so there is no confusion or accusation of reporting incorrect facts or causing panic.
- On April 9th, Reuters published an article that interviewed John Chen and his position on BlackBerry's future. Reuters publishes a SNIPPET of the interview, not the WHOLE interview.
- The BlackBerry fan sites, the media and BlackBerry fans read and react to this article.
- The world rotates; another day begins.
- April 10th, Reuters publishes their FULL article which has a lot more information than the article on April 9th had. This information would have not caused all the BlackBerry fans to go bonkers.
The April 10th full article, linked here, had a lot more detail in it accordingly. In this article John Chen says a lot of positive things about the future of BlackBerry, including his assertion that "BlackBerry remained on track to be cash-flow positive by the end of the current fiscal year, which runs to the end of February 2015, and to return to profit some time in the fiscal year after that."
Some of John Chen's interview highlights include:
"We are building an engineering team on the service side that is focused on security. We are building an engineering team on the device side that is focused on security. We will do some partnerships and we will probably, potentially do an M&A on security."
"We are not only interested in managing BlackBerry devices. We are interested in managing all devices that you would like to speak to each other," he said. "To achieve our dream of being a major player in M2M requires more partnerships with others."
"We are not going to go up against Whatsapp. We are going to be more focused on secure communications, secure messaging," he said of BlackBerry's BBM platform."
Now excuse me while I get up on my soapbox. I'm going to call out the media outlets that took the full article and only focused on the line that BlackBerry would be getting out of the handset business. Is it your raison d'etre to destroy BlackBerry by not reporting the full story? It's called reporting, not selective reporting. Do your job and stop creating sensationalism and speculation. If you'd rather sensationalize, then merge with the National Enquirer and admit you're more a tabloid than a news organization.
Reuters, you are the patient zero in all of this. You're complicit. Shame on you as well.
And to the fans who screamed bloody murder because the fansites "weren't reporting the whole story and making up BS", please let me explain something. It's called comprehension. Mr. Chen said, "If I cannot make money on handsets..." Now, the operative word here was and still is "IF". Some BlackBerry fans grabbed pitch forks and torches, buckets of tar and bags of feathers in fury over what fansites reported because they didn't comprehend what Chen said. It's one word. It's a two letter word and it packs a wallop.
Even with the snippet of the full article, that IF should have stood out like a sore thumb. Most of you fans across the world got it. Some of you didn't. Shame on you that didn't.