LAS VEGAS--BlackBerry is betting that its security heritage and technology portfolio will make its new platform for the Internet of Things a powerhouse in a burgeoning market as technology players from Samsung Electronics to Intel look to take advantage of the IoT trend.
BlackBerry is working with aerospace and defense contracting giant Boeing on a customized BlackBerry device that can self-destruct and has other high-level security features, according to multiple reports.
BlackBerry reported a narrower net loss for its fiscal third quarter and said it continues to expect to achieve profitability sometime in its next fiscal year. However, although the firm is nursing itself back to financial health, the company's revenue fell off sharply in its most recent quarter and the firm only sold 2 million BlackBerry smartphones in the period.
NEW YORK--BlackBerry CEO John Chen said he thinks the company's device business is important--but he said he's spending much of his time looking beyond smartphones to the wider Internet of Things (IoT) market.
Thanks to a new partnership between the two companies, BlackBerry said it will work to enhance security on Samsung Electronics' Android phones, and Samsung said it will resell the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 platform to its customers. The teaming is just one of several that BlackBerry unveiled as part of the rollout of its new BES12 product, which the company hopes will form the foundation of its comeback into the enterprise market.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company is going to be more focused on becoming profitable and maintaining that status than churning out a wide range of new smartphones.
BlackBerry executive Alec Saunders, who led the company's developer relations team and has been a key figure at the firm's QNX subsidiary as it has pushed into the Internet of Things market, is leaving the company in the next few weeks.
BlackBerry plans to release more devices that are differentiated in their design, along the lines of its new Passport phone, which sports a square 4.5-inch screen and a physical Qwerty keyboard.
BlackBerry said it has received 200,000 orders for its new Passport smartphone, the first major smartphone release from the company since 2013. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the new phone, announced earlier this week, sold out in six hours on BlackBerry's website and in 10 hours on Amazon's site. He said the company has now sold enough Passport smartphones to make the device profitable, according to Bloomberg.
BlackBerry is teaming up with Verizon Wireless to give $150 in bill credits per device to enterprises that upgrade their legacy BlackBerry devices to newer BlackBerry 10 smartphones and the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 platform.