BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) investors finally have something to be happy about. After an incredibly difficult year that most people expected to shutter the company, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen made it clear that he is willing to look beyond the old business model in order to turn things around.
Asked about the possibility of bringing the same level of security available on BB10 OS to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android users, “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,” Chen said, reports Martyn Williams of ComputerWorld UK.
Plenty of demand for BBM on Android
Even though BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s handsets have fallen out of favor, creating an enormous drag on the business, they are still highly regarded in government and corporate circles where security is most important, and BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) Messenger has had at least 40 million downloads since it became available on Android, so the demand for BlackBerry software certainly exists.
Chen has made it clear that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) won’t stop selling handsets, but the renewed focus on software is important. If Chen is going to bring the tech giant back from the brink, BBM and BlackBerry Enterprise Services (BES) will pay for the process and probably form the backbone of the company’s new business model.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s stock price had a rare bump following the conference call, but there are still questions about how to turn BBM’s popularity into actual profits.
“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,” said Chen.
BlackBerry restructuring into four divisions
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is also undergoing a strategic restructuring, dividing the company into four segments: devices, QNX, Enterprise Services, and Messaging. A new deal with Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) means that the devices division will be able to capitalize on BlackBerry’s relative strength in Indonesia without having to do all the heavy lifting in-house, and the company’s management team will be able to focus on getting the most out of the other three, more promising divisions.