According to the latest report, the Canadian company is set to announce licensing deals for BlackBerry Secure, a “secure” OS based on Android.
BlackBerry – what was once thought to be the go-to brand for secure enterprise and personal mobile use quickly became obsolete in the era of smartphones and growing duopoly between Apple and Samsung. The struggling Canadian company fell behind the OS race, announcing its first Android-powered smartphone just two years ago in 2015 when other Android OEMs had five to six generations of flagships already. Since then, it has partnered with various hardware manufacturers around the world to resuscitate the BlackBerry brand and reoriented its focus to providing BlackBerry software to Android users.
The former has been working out relatively well: it recently signed a 10-year brand licensing deal with Optiemus in India, which gives the Delhi-based telecommunications company the right to design, manufacture, and sell devices using the BlackBerry moniker. Not only that, it already has similar partnerships with BB Merah Putih for Indonesia and TCL (probably a better-known partnership) for the global market. The latter, on the other hand, has been limited to Google Play apps so far, but that’s about to change according to the latest report.
ETTelecom reports that BlackBerry is preparing to launch BlackBerry Secure, its own version of Android with BlackBerry-made security features. According to the online publication, the Canadian company is currently in talks with various hardware manufacturers to reach licensing agreements for the soon-to-be-announced OS. “We have a number of different contracts that we are working on right now. We expect some to be announced soon,” says Alex Thurber, the company’s Senior Vice President of Mobility Solutions.
Under the licensing deal, Android OEMs will be able to ship their devices with a modified version of Android, packed with all the features that once made BlackBerry so appealing.
Under the licensing deal, Android OEMs will be able to ship their devices with a modified version of Android, packed with all the features that once made BlackBerry so appealing. Not only that, the launch of BlackBerry Secure could mean huge potential for the Enterprise of Things (EoT), in which BlackBerry has long been interested:
We have already started talking to a couple of medical manufacturers. John Chen had also talked about TVs – there is an amazing amount of products that run Android and since we are able to make a very secure Android, we think there are a lot of opportunities. We have a very specific plan and we are working to that plan… We believe it is important to bring security into every element of enterprise of things.
Are you excited about BlackBerry Secure? Would you prefer to buy a phone that ships with the company’s security features or do you think those are a thing of the past? Let us know by leaving a comment below!