John Chen hints at BlackBerry 10 app solution, Slider launch date

John Chen BlackBerry CEO

On Monday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen was in Los Angeles to to take part in a panel discussion on health care in the digital age at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference. Several American news organizations, including NBC and Bloomberg, took the opportunity to talk to Chen about BlackBerry, its financials and the company’s roadmap.

In his interview with NBC Today, Chen was asked how he intends to get users back to the BlackBerry platform.

“Lack of applications has been one of our Achilles heel for the last couple of years,” said Chen, in response to the question. “We’re doing two things about it. I’m not at liberty to tell you what we’re doing beyond the Amazon app store, but we’re working hard at it.”

This response prompted the host of the interview to ask Chen, “but there’s something big brewing?”

For his part, Chen smiles at the question, saying, “Yes, there’s something brewing.”

What that something big is Chen did not reveal. About two years ago, BlackBerry reportedly had the opportunity to give its users access to Google services, but decided that the asking price was to high when Google demanded that the company include the Play Store on BlackBerry 10 devices.

Chen was also interviewed by Bloomberg Business. He spends most of that six plus minute interview talking about how he intends to help BlackBerry grow its revenue again, but towards the end of the interview he’s also asked about the company’s release schedule. Chen says BlackBerry’s upcoming slider phone, a render of which was leaked yesterday, will be released later this year.

He then goes on to say that the “other two models may not make the end of the year.” Presumably, he’s talking about Olso, the pseudo-successor to the Passport that probably won’t launch in Canada, and Keian, the next BlackBerry and Porsche Design collaboration.

As usual, Chen didn’t say much, but what he did say should at least give the BlackBerry faithful something to look forward to in the near future.

For those interested, the Milken Institute has uploaded a video of the panel discussion Chen took part in.

[source]NBC News, Bloomberg[/source][via]N4BB[/via]