Regaining lost ground, says BlackBerry chief

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

BlackBerry Limited has said it is not contemplating dumping mobile phone manufacturing business, adding that ongoing restructuring was to ensure it is repositioned to return to profitability.

The Territory Director (West Africa) BlackBerry Limited, Charles Asinugo has dismissed insinuations that the Waterloo, Ontario Canada-based mobile phone major is considering exiting the mobile phones business.

Asinugo, who spoke in Lagos during the launch of its flagship product, the BlackBerry Passport, said the firm is being repositioned with a view to regaining its lost grounds.

Asinugo said John Chen is repositioning the firm to assure the customers of security, productivity and collaboration, adding that Nigeria remains central to its business.

Blackberry had named Chen as its interim chief executive officer. Chen had said the management changes at the firm were aimed at refining the company's strategy "to ensure we deliver the best devices, mobile security and device management".

Speaking on the new device, he said it features a large square touch screen, new QWERTY touch-enabled keyboard and BlackBerry’s latest 10.3 operating system, the BlackBerry Passport gives users a wider vision to do mobile business without compromising portability. 

He said another feature of the device is the BlackBerry Assistant which he said is BlackBerry’s first digital assistant that could be used with voice and text commands to help users manage work and personal email, contacts, calendar and other native BlackBerry 10 applications.

BlackBerry World showcases essential apps for the BlackBerry Passport smartphone customer, including productivity apps like Bloomberg Professional. Get the best on BlackBerry World, uniquely suited to you.

BlackBerry Assistant intelligently determines how to respond to you based on how you interact with it – if you type, it responds silently, if you speak, it speaks back and if you activate over Bluetooth, it speaks back with additional context because it assumes you might not have access to the screen.

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