BlackBerry Ltd. and The Boeing Company have come together to design a self-destructing smartphone for United States defense and homeland security employees and contractors. The partnership will help BlackBerry strengthen its control over its government base as commercial sales are dropping.
BlackBerry, Boeing come together
John Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of BlackBerry, said during the company’s latest earnings call, “We’re pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES12 platform.” Chen restricted himself from revealing further information and added, “That by the way is all they allow me to say.”
Boeing, the Chicago-based aerospace company, is testing its secure smartphone dubbed the Boeing Black, which is packed with BlackBerry’s main business enterprise server product known as BES. BlackBerry offers software to large corporations and government departments to track their employees’ devices. BES is compatible with Android and iPhone headsets. The companies are seeing a number of opportunities that will connect the Boeing device with BlackBerry’s server, said Andy Lee, a Boeing spokesman, during a phone interview with Bloomberg.
The core business of BlackBerry is data security and unconventional designs, which is why Boeing is a perfect choice when it comes to partnerships. Chen told Reuters both companies have started the work on the Boeing Black phone, which will also include call encryption features. The Android-powered phone will focus on government agencies and other types of business in which data protection is important.
Chen more confident on BlackBerry’s survival
The Boeing Black phone will have dual-SIM slots to allow access to multiple cell networks and can be integrated with biometric sensors and satellites. Boeing has already started offering phones to potential customers.
BlackBerry’s CEO is channeling significant resources toward the development of software and security for governments and corporations. However, the Canadian company is not solely focusing on software but has also released the Passport and Classic smartphones recently.
For the last quarter, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company posted positive cash flow, and operating earnings came in at 1 cent per share in profits. On a net basis, the company posted a loss of 28 cents per share. However, Chen is now 99% confident the company will survive. Prior to this, Chen had his doubts and gave it a 50-50 chance and then later an 80% chance, but this time he seems to be very confident.