BlackBerry CEO Willing To Bring Services to iOS, Android

In a recent financial conference call, BlackBerry's new CEO John Chen admitted that the company is "very interested" in bringing some of the company's signature tech over to rival platforms like Android and iOS. The company has seemingly already begun traveling down that road with its highly-successful BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM.

"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."

According to PC Advisor, some analysts have suggested that BlackBerry discontinue hardware sales and simply focus on software. The company began heading down that path on Friday with the announcement that Foxconn would design and develop a low-end phones for BlackBerry.

As the report points out, bringing BlackBerry's signature software to other platforms won't be a sunny walk in the park, even more so if BlackBerry wants to keep the same high level of encryption and security. The company reportedly has already started looking beyond BlackBerry 10.

During the call, Chen admitted that he was considering a per-user fee for BlackBerry Messenger when customers are 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."

Earlier this month, Chen said in a letter that BlackBerry is here to stay despite rumors. The company is going through yet another restructuring period and is refocusing resources. He also assured investors that the BlackBerry infrastructure and solutions are secure.

"Our competitors want you to think that BES only manages BlackBerry devices, and that we are somehow more expensive than other MDMs. This is false," reads BlackBerry's blog. "We understand the realities of the enterprise mobility market better than anyone, and we're in the game for the long term. We've been investing in enterprise mobility management – for any device – and thanks to customers like you, we're doing very well."

  • overclockingrocks
    Very forward thinking strategy and I think it may save Blackberry as a company. Their phones may not be doing too hot but their software is so widely used and BBM for Android/iOS has exploded in popularity,I know personally I use it to communicate with most people on my contacts and text those who don't have it instead if I can't phone them for some reason, with that said I wonder if for the everyman it's too little too late
  • chicofehr
    BB10 OS now supports Android apps natively up to 4.1 or 4.2 (can't remember) so there is no lack of apps now. I use it because of the keyboard of course :P The Q10 is very popular where I live. I have an android device but its not very good for multitasking and doing stuff fast. I just had it for the apps. Now I never use it anymore since the newest OS supports Android apps. I got more Android apps on my BB then BB apps now LOL.

    Also, the reason they put BBM on other devices is to ultimately try to lure people back to Blackberry devices. I don't think they will make enough money from just software to stay alive for more then 5 years. 70-80 percent of their income is still from devices I believe. Its the only phone maker that doesn't make phones that all look like an iPhone LOL
  • Grandmastersexsay
    Hmm... BlackBerry wants to save their company by transitioning to software only development in a market dominated by an open source operating system and extremely cheap or free apps. LoL. What are they
    going to do, try to make $50 apps no one will buy? I could just see the board meeting now.

    "Does anyone have any ideas? Anything at all?"

    "Um... Angry Birds did pretty well last year."

    This might be the worst run company of the decade. It's like a former Hollywood celebrity whose crack addiction has left them living in a cardboard box. How do you go from such high market saturation to litterly no presence at all in such a short time?

    One more point. No one wants to use their crappy blackberry messenger, let alone pay a per user fee. No one.
  • damianrobertjones
    " like Android and iOS"

    So dies that mean NO WP8 or did he actually state ANdroid/iOS? Specific FACTS speak volumes
  • Innocent_Bystander-1312890
    I like BB, but went with a Lumia 920 when it wasn't certain a BB device would get proper app and user support.

    Never looked back. This thing is noticeably faster than my previous phone (GS3) and stands up to the kids far better.

  • schultzter
    12300676 said:
    What are they going to do, try to make $50 apps no one will buy?

    Actually, I'm sure they're going to find companies willing to pay. Not for the apps but for the back end servers and services the apps rely on. Companies provide free apps and then charge the corporations a per user fee. McAfee and RSA come to mind. I'm sure there are a lot of others.

  • Bill Wendel
    The security they provide is supposed to be top notch. There was an article on either Tom's or on MSN or Yahoo about the President of the United States having to use a Blackberry because of the security built into it's server software. If their security ever gets hacked THATS when they will start to fall.
  • nitrium
    "The security they provide is supposed to be top notch."

    Does it keep the NSA (and others) out? If not then it's worth exactly nothing. If the NSA can get in, so in theory can anyone else. You seriously might as well broadcast all your messages with Twitter, since anyone genuinely interested can intercept and read everything you say anyway. As far as I can tell, post Snowden revelations it's pretty obvious privacy (private, public and corporate) is dead, regardless of what platform or safeguards you use.
  • velocityg4
    If they want to be able to provide the same level of security and encryption. They are going to need to make agreements with Google and Apple for a higher degree of integration with their OS. It's not unheard of Apple has integrated Twitter and Facebook. Maybe they would be willing to integrate something that isn't flippant.
  • schultzter
    12306354 said:
    If they want to be able to provide the same level of security and encryption. They are going to need to make agreements with Google and Apple for a higher degree of integration with their OS.

    Since Android is open source they could either just submit generic patches that would help any security integrator. Or they could provide a DroidBerry or BlackDroid ROM that companies would have to flash onto their devices before handing them out to employees (which means partnering with hardware OEM's).

    Or they could deal directly with Google to get their BlackBerry specific patches included in base Android.

    But that's assuming Google stops believing in the SELinux project which is included as of 4.3 and enforced as of 4.4. Making Security Enhanced Linux the default for all new devices in a way that is standard across all Linuxes. With standard open-source tools.