BlackBerry CEO would 'love' to expand platform to iOS, Android
John Chen said he's very interested in taking the BlackBerry experience to rival platforms
IDG News Service - BlackBerry's new CEO says he is "very interested" in trying to replicate some of the company's signature security and enterprise productivity on rival platforms.
"We'd love to do it," he said when asked on a financial conference call about the possibility of expanding the BlackBerry platform to smartphones running Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
BlackBerry has enjoyed favor in enterprises for its high levels of security and efficient messaging software, but the company has hit problems in the last couple of years because of slow development of new devices and much fiercer competition in the handset market from companies like Apple and Samsung.
"The one great thing about BlackBerry is that we are well known in security and productivity," Chen said.
"I would love to find a way to make our BlackBerry experience [available] on Android and iOS. It's not without difficulties, as you all know, but it's something that we are very interested in trying."
Some analysts have suggested that BlackBerry, which is struggling under the weight of large losses and declining sales, should jettison its hardware business and focus on software. The company took a step in that direction on Friday, when it said it would shift design and development of low-end handsets to China's Foxconn.
Porting the company's signature software to rival operating systems won't be easy, especially if the company wants to maintain a high level of encryption and security, but the company has already started looking beyond the BlackBerry 10 OS.
In October it released a version of its popular BlackBerry Messenger software for Android and iOS.
The software attracted 40 million new users in the first two months and BlackBerry said it is now being pre-installed in more than a dozen Android phones.
BlackBerry isn't charging for the software yet. Chen said he was considering a monthly fee per user for customers running it with BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
"It will be a service that we offer with our BES strategy and the model will come from a per user, per month model," he said. "I will not rule out the monetization from advertising model, but at the moment we are very far away from doing it. That doesn't mean we can't do it with a partner, but it's not in my math."
Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is email@example.com
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms As unprecedented numbers of enterprises build mobile applications, the mobile application development platform market continues to grow and evolve rapidly.
- The Total Economic Impact of IBM's Worklight Platform Mobile is the fastest growing consumer technology in history. As enterprises build apps to engage these new users they are facing increased complexity...
- Improve Your Mobile Application Security with IBM Worklight IBM® Worklight helps organizations extend their business across multiple mobile devices. It provides an open, comprehensive and advanced mobile application platform to help...
- Unlock the Value of Enterprise Mobility Download this guide and learn how to manage the secure deployment of enterprise mobile apps and data, while still encouraging the levels of...
- It's Chaos Out There Worried about your mobile apps? You should be; it's chaos out there. Check out this humorous video and see if you can recognize...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!