BlackBerry eyes licensees for tablets, wearables & appliances

April 3, 2017 | 6:27 am

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As a part of its brand licensing strategy, BlackBerry is now looking to join forces with manufacturers across various categories to integrate BlackBerry Secure software into both BlackBerry-branded and co-branded devices.

The company has already inked pacts with new licensing partners and is planning to roll out tablets, wearables, medical devices, appliances and point-of-sale (POS) terminals under its brand name, alongside Blackberry-branded smartphones.

BlackBerry said this development as the next stage of its licensing strategy, following a September 2016 agreement with TCL for smartphones. As a part of this agreement, TCL has already developed three new smartphones with BlackBerry branding — DTEK60 and KEYone and the latest of this, the BlackBerry KeyOne, is expected to launch in May.

BlackBerry Ltd., the company that used to make phone hardware under the same name, now simply provides the end-to-end security and software for smartphones build by its partners. If its plan is successful, it’ll also provide that software for plenty of additional “Enterprise of Things” devices.

Commenting on the announcement, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said, “We have taken a long-term and thoughtful approach to our licensing strategy, which includes an expansive view of the entire Enterprise of Things ecosystem.”

“As part of this strategy, we will work with a wide range of manufacturers to integrate BlackBerry Secure software into both BlackBerry-branded and co-branded devices,” he added.

However BlackBerry didn’t provide any information on devices that may actually be in development.