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Is BlackBerry Back? With New Partnerships, The Company Is Ready For A Closer Look

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Melanie Schaffer
·2 min read
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BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE: BB) has been hot lately, and not only for its WallStreetBets fame. BlackBerry released some big news, including information about its QNX and IVY systems partnerships.

Investors are closely watching to see if BlackBerry can regain its former glory. It has been nearly 13 years since the company's shares reached an all-time high on June 2, 2008, and a lot has changed for the Canadian tech company.

What Happened: A short squeeze that began in February 2008 launched shares of BlackBerry more than 80% within four months, reaching a high of almost $150. Investors were buying the stock based on BlackBerry’s dominance in the mobile phone industry.

See also: How to Buy BlackBerry (BB) Stock

BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboard phones quickly fell from popularity when consumers switched en masse to phones made by competitors, such as the iPhone produced by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and the Galaxy by Samsung Electronics Co.

But, BlackBerry wasn't just about its mobile phone handset. BlackBerry’s focus has always been security software, with the mobile phone industry just one outlet for that business. In the past decade, BlackBerry went back to the drawing board and refocused its strategy back on what it has always been best at: software. Some might say BlackBerry was never a mobile phone company to begin with.

Why It Matters: BlackBerry has always been about security. Over the past 10 years, while BlackBerry seemed to fade into the shadows, advancements in vehicle architecture and robotics were expanding. The company was developing software products and systems that would eventually help it to capture partnerships with some of the world’s leading companies.

In the past month, BlackBerry has announced partnerships with Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU) and Hyundai Motor Company GDR's (OTC: HYMTF)-backed Motional for its QNX system.

In 2020, BlackBerry had a stream of partnership announcements, including its largest with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) for AWS to market Blackberry’s IVY platform for use in smart vehicles. The company also unveiled partnerships between its crisis communication system, AtHoc, and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) for its Microsoft Teams platform and ServiceNow Inc (NYSE: NOW) for incident response management.

BlackBerry has also released new security software, such as its Mobile Threat Defense Solution and Unified Endpoint Security, which is used by institutions and governments, including the U.S. Air Force.

Benzinga's Take: In contrast to the 2008 short squeeze where BlackBerry share prices soared on hype, its next act might be a rise based on its stock being viewed as a value play.

Its industry-related growth and proprietary software make it a great partner for automakers and tech companies looking to increase their system security. This is a time when the dangers posed by international hackers are heightened, as seen in with the SolarWinds hack in December 2020.

(Photo by David Lindahl on Unsplash)

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