BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company could partner with Apple if the latter would “ever come to us” for security solutions. Chen said this during an interview on CNN Money on the sidelines of the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles.
BlackBerry Apple partnership — possible?
The Canadian smartphone maker has been dwarfed by Apple, but security is one area in which BlackBerry still holds influence. The company’s security solutions are even used by the Defense department and by none other than President Obama.
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“Yes, if Apple would ever come to us and would love to have our security, we could talk,” Chen said.
Chen said during the interview, “It takes two parties to dance,” and the company will deploy the service on any operating system. Upon asking if Apple has talked to BlackBerry yet, Chen declined to comment. Chen, however, mentioned that conversations with peers are part of their regular process.
“Yes, we speak to our rivals. We may be going after the same customer base, but we’re not enemies. You can be friends and compete — like athletes,” Chen said. Only recently, the company announced plans to deploy its software on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
Chen praises Apple
Chen acknowledged that unlike Apple, BlackBerry did not focus on expanding its app ecosystem. The younger generation loves more and new apps, and the iPhone maker has done a very good job.
If a partnership does happen, surely there will be some doubts because it was Apple that outsmarted BlackBerry. However, Chen is the most trusted executive at present when it comes to a turnaround. CNN Money gave the runner-up position to Chen behind Apple’s Cook as the best CEO of 2014.
It was Chen’s decision to shift focus towards higher margin software and security rather than bleeding BlackBerry dry by focusing on expensive smartphones. Investors are also confident that Chen can pull it off, as the stock was up by over 40% last year. BlackBerry’s CEO also stated that the company is working on a few devices that will help it win back users in the smartphone market.
On Monday, BlackBerry shares closed down 1.35% at $10.24, and year to date, the stock is down by almost 7%.