BlackBerry Ltd continues to shake things up, with many people wondering what the near and long term future will hold. From new devices to labor cuts, 2016 has been anything but quiet for the once dominant smartphone company. Even though BlackBerry has been buried by the competition, the company has its eyes on a bright future.
When BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen spoke at the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C., he made his point loud and clear:
“We want to build a big and robust software business from managing enterprises [that are] secure and focused on privacy.”
There used to be a time when BlackBerry’s primary focus was hardware. It has always been top dog in terms of security, but most people knew the company for its popular smartphone devices. This is no longer the case.
Things are Changing for Blackberry
With this change in mind, BlackBerry has made a variety of acquisitions to help push things forward. Over the past 18 months, the company has acquired five enterprise software companies, including: Good Technology, WatchDox, Movirtu, SecuSUITE, and AtHoc.
It’s All About Security
Even if BlackBerry does not have a large share of the smartphone market, it still has one thing going for it: security. There has never been any question of whether or not the company is able to live up to security expectations.
For example, security is what has moved BlackBerry’s QNX platform to the top of the car computing space. At this time, it is used in more than 60 million vehicles manufactured by 250 companies.
Chen went on to discuss security and privacy, explaining the difference between the two:
“Security is what we do. Privacy is what you get. We have the most trusted networks outside of the carriers themselves – it is what we offer and how we think about our business.”
Not Giving up on Smartphone Sales
It would be easy for BlackBerry to eventually shut down its smartphone division, focusing solely on software. But this doesn’t appear to be the direction in which the company is heading.
As Chen noted, its phones, including the new PRIV, are able to standout in a crowded market thanks to its security. He was proud to discuss the benefits of PRIV, most notably its security and encryption combined with the Android operating system.
The BlackBerry Ltd team, as a whole, continues to talk about what the future holds for the company. It has been a slow turnaround, and there is still a long way to go. But here is the good thing: Chen has a plan in place.
What are your thoughts on the future of BlackBerry? Where do you see the company when 2016 comes to an end?