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BlackBerry Venturing Into Wearables, Appliances And More

Corazon Victorino

BlackBerry has announced that it is moving its licensing strategy from smartphones to smart enterprises. The Canadian company wants to put its name on more products, including wearables, tablets, appliances and medical devices. The announcement comes after the firm declared better-than-expected adjusted earnings for the sixth straight quarter. 

On Saturday, BlackBerry shared new details about its expanded licensing strategy that would see its name appear on devices apart from mobile products. Just last September, the company decided to focus on licensing secure and comprehensive Android software for phones manufactured and marketed by Chinese multinational electronics company TCL Corporation. This time, it is expanding its reach by venturing into a variety of products. 

The expansion would also see the return of BlackBerry in the tablet scene. The company did not become successful in the tablet market with its now discontinued PlayBook. Back in 2013, former CEO Thorsten Heins told Bloomberg that tablets would be irrelevant in five years. Flash forward to today — almost five years later —BlackBerry is attempting to make a comeback in the tablet scene with this expanding licensing strategy. 

“We have taken a long-term and thoughtful approach to our licensing strategy, which includes an expansive view of the entire Enterprise of Things ecosystem,” current BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a press release. “As part of this strategy, we will work with a wide range of manufacturers to integrate BlackBerry Secure software into both BlackBerry-branded and co-branded devices.”

BlackBerry is believed to be working to embed its patented privacy and security features to devices it will be licensing, as pointed out by TechnoBuffalo. “For example, companies providing medical monitoring devices must protect health data on the device, guarantee is connects securely to the healthcare system, and most importantly ensure that it cannot be hacked,” Chen said. “BlackBerry Secure helps solve this triple threat.”

BlackBerry’s announcement comes just a day after the company saw profit beat its expectations. The company‘s total revenue was revealed to be $297 million, bigger that the $289.3 million estimate made by analysts. The company is now expecting to be more profitable on an adjusted basis for the the second year in a row, Reuters has learned. 


BlackBerry has announced its expanded licensing strategy. Photo: Reuters/Albert Gea


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