BlackBerry has given one more hint that going forward, it may abandon its struggling hardware segment. BlackBerry’s head of global sales, Carl Wiese, disclosed that the Canadian firm will focus on enterprise software and may abandon its declining smartphone business at some point in the future.
Good Technology: a vital part of BlackBerry’s plan
BlackBerry did pretty well in the enterprise software department after it bought Good Technology for a reported $425 million in 2015, Wiese told The Register in an interview. So it seems the focus on software is now working for the Canadian firm, which still has around $2.6 billion in cash reserves to operate with. Currently, all the debt it is operating with is “friendly debt” owned by the Fairfax Financial consortium, explained Wiese.
“On conference calls last year almost all of the questions from financial analysts would be about the phones. And when people said we wanted $500m revenue from software they were crazy,” Wiese told The Register. “Now we’ve made that target and half the questions are about enterprise software.”
BlackBerry’s short-term goal is to merge its services with Good Technology by integrating Good’s proprietary network into its own, explained Wiese. The existing Good Dynamics software development kit (SDK), which controls some high-profile names like Microsoft Dynamics, is BlackBerry’s central piece of the plan to focus on the enterprise software development.
With help from other acquisitions such as the AtHoc crisis management solution and WatchDox secure document system, this plan will be gradually be rolled out, allowing the Canadian firm to offer customizable and comprehensive service packages to businesses of all sizes.
When will BlackBerry exit the hardware segment?
Though Wiese did not say that the company will definitely drop its hardware business in the near future, he did give a general vibe. Daniel Chan, a respected analyst working for TD Securities, is not surprised by these developments. Chan claimed that the smartphone maker is preparing to exit the hardware business soon. Whether such a scenario will actually happen or not remains to be seen, but the Canadian smartphone company declared recently that the success of its latest Priv flagship will determine the future of its hardware segment. The sales of the Priv have been relatively solid if recent reports are to be believed.
BlackBerry’s recent financial numbers do hint that the company is ultimately going down the right path, but whether or not that direction will include smartphones remains to be seen.