In what probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise at this point, Canadian handset maker BlackBerry has canceled its annual BlackBerry Live conference for 2014. It’ll be the first time in 12 years the company won’t host a major event and is one of the first major changes under new CEO John Chen.
In a blog post announcing the change, the company said they would instead host a series of smaller, targeted events that would take place across the world over the next 12 months. These events will have a greater focus on the specific business, developer and partner audiences.
BlackBerry annual conferences were first introduced in 2002 as the Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) and later went by the name BlackBerry World. That moniker was ultimately phased out to avoid confusion with the company’s app store by the same name and has been known as BlackBerry Live ever since.
Events like BlackBerry Live served as the perfect platform to showcase upcoming hardware. At the most recent conference, the company announced the budget-minded Q5 smartphone with a design that was reminiscent of the BlackBerry Curve.
The lack of a big conference will no doubt decrease the company’s ability to build hype for pending products but at this stage of the game, handsets probably won’t be as high of a priority as they once were. On the plus side, the lack of a flashy conference will help BlackBerry trim unnecessary costs as Chen attempts to get things going in the right direction once again.