For as long as many people can remember, BlackBerry has been a notable name in the tech industry, but not just the tech industry, also the wireless industry, with the manufacturer having a tight grip on the consumer marketshare for smart mobile devices for years. At the very end of last month, BlackBerry officially announced that they would no longer be making hardware, and would instead focus on providing the company’s software to other manufacturers looking to use the BlackBerry brand-name for their devices. Today, BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen has begun to discuss the future of the BlackBerry brand and what the recently announced company changes mean for them as a whole moving forward.
To some degree this was already highlighted when BlackBerry mentioned that they would discontinue hardware manufacturing. Their focus going forward will be software. More specifically, BlackBerry will be licensing out the BlackBerry brand as well as the secure BlackBerry software that has powered devices such as the Priv, and the more recently launched DTEK50 as well as the recently discovered DTEK60. The DTEK50 and DTEK60 are great examples of what part of BlackBerry’s mission is going forward, as both devices are not built by BlackBerry but rather they were licensed out to TCL.
Chen notes that the decision to stop hardware manufacturing was a strategic one that will allow them to utilize their “core strengths” of providing a secure software experience to consumers in the market. He adds that by partnering up with other third-party manufacturers to build these devices, BlackBerry as a brand continues to be stamped on hardware which means more new phones with the BlackBerry name, and because BlackBerry themselves are no longer building the devices themselves it will allow the company to reach more consumers, and that they will be able to distribute their software across multiple platforms and devices, which should mean more exposure to the BlackBerry devices powered by Android. Chen also stresses that while BlackBerry is not going to be making their own devices internally anymore, the change in focus is not really a change in direction for the company, but more of a continuation of the strategy that they were already implementing, which is providing customers with safe and secure, yet powerful communication experiences. The focus on software going forward also includes BlackBerry’s continued commitment to developing their Mobility Solutions software as well as products, which includes the upcoming release of BB 10.3.3.