BlackBerry recently decided to quit smartphone development, although this doesn’t mean other companies will not release new BlackBerry smartphones. Nonetheless, this announcement has brought an end to the agony the company has been going through for the past couple of years. Amid all this, the good news is that the Canadian company will continue to offer support to its customers.
Many takers for BlackBerry Android bundle
BlackBerry’s senior VP for sales, Alex Thurber, said in a recent interview, “We continue to support the BlackBerry 10 operating system; some companies are interested in licensing it for handsets. If it’s a solid business model going forward, we’ll work with a 3rd manufacturer. But we’re not close enough to say we’re going to do that.”
BlackBerry’s popularity can be gathered from the fact that after the Canadian firm opened its Android bundle via the Google Play Store in August, it has been downloaded more than 100,000 times, Thurber said. The bundle includes PIM apps, Password Keeper and an email client.
There are a lot of companies interested in licensing Hub+ for all their employees. It is a great productivity tool, and many new users like it a lot, says Thurber, adding that the company is not considering putting the BlackBerry keyboard and DTEK up for grabs.
“You’ll need to buy a BlackBerry-branded phone for that. Those are core to BlackBerry. I don’t know of anything that’s imminent to change that,” he said.
Thurber also stated that they will get “NIAP-certified Android next year.” It is a set of security standards needed for government use.
Software only going forward?
BlackBerry plans to outsource the development of smartphones powered by OS 10, but its engineers will continue to take care of the software division, notes PhoneArena. CEO John Chen confirmed a while ago that BlackBerry plays it very safe when it comes to choosing its partners. Previously, Chen said that the company wants to be very positive as the contracts are long and complex, and the company involves itself in every stage of the process.
“We’ll know what’s going on at every stage of the manufacturing process – and we’ll still inject our hardware keys at the right moment,” Chen said.
The DTEK50 uses a TCL reference design. Alcatel sells its own version of the smartphone powered by Android, the Idol 4.
In pre-market trading today, BlackBerry shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is down more than 18%, while in the last year, it is up almost 21%.