BlackBerry CEO: We'd love to try iOS, Android

John Chen said he's very interested in taking the BlackBerry experience to rival platforms

BlackBerry's new CEO says he is "very interested" in trying to replicate some of the company's signature security and enterprise productivity on rival platforms.

"We'd love to do it," he said when asked on a financial conference call about the possibility of expanding the BlackBerry platform to smartphones running Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

BlackBerry has enjoyed favor in enterprises for its high levels of security and efficient messaging software, but the company has hit problems in the last couple of years because of slow development of new devices and much fiercer competition in the handset market from companies like Apple and Samsung.

"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."

Some analysts have suggested that BlackBerry, which is struggling under the weight of large losses and declining sales, should jettison its hardware business and focus on software. The company took a step in that direction on Friday, when it said it would shift design and development of low-end handsets to China's Foxconn.

Porting the company's signature software to rival operating systems won't be easy, especially if the company wants to maintain a high level of encryption and security, but the company has already started looking beyond the BlackBerry 10 OS.

In October it released a version of its popular BlackBerry Messenger software for Android and iOS.

The software attracted 40 million new users in the first two months and BlackBerry said it is now being pre-installed in more than a dozen Android phones.

BlackBerry isn't charging for the software yet. Chen said he was considering a monthly fee per user for customers 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."

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesBlackberryAndroidiPhoneconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?