BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen Holds Up The Unreleased Blackberry Passport
BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen holds up the unreleased Blackberry Passport device during the company's annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo June 19, 2014. Reuters/Mark Blinch

Blackberry has plans of re-establishing its presence in the smartphone industry, and it looks like 2016 will be a make-or-break year for John Chen's company.

Blackberry's smartphone business has been considered to be ailing over the years, especially with its rivals releasing flagship handsets on an annual basis. Chen revealed at the recent Code Mobile Conference that if the company is not able to manufacture a new smartphone, he might just decide to scrap the entire department.

"I have to think twice about what I do there," Chen hinted, according to CNET.

The possibility of Chen ending Blackberry's smartphone business could reportedly be a good call, especially if the venture fails to turn a profit. Despite the downward spiral, though, Chen has insisted on Blackberry Blogs that the company is "doing everything possible to make our devices profitable."

Blackberry has sold 800,000 units in the quarter, which is only a third from its total sales last year. Amidst news of the company's decline in sales, the firm has taken what could be its last swipe at the smartphone business with the Blackberry Priv, its new device powered by Google's Android. This is a huge change from Blackberry's usual strategy, which is to use its own software.

That said, it looks like Chen's company has its hopes set on Google's software. The device is the company's first Android smartphone. Its name, "Priv," reportedly means "privacy." It is a touch screen handset that features a slide-out physical keyboard.

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