Blackberry is on the rise again.
The once-dominant smartphone company has been undergoing a transformation under the leadership of new CEO, John Chen.
Chen is attempting to secure a niche market of Blackberry users, focusing on institutions, which naturally require a higher level of security and have no need for a large variety of gaming apps.
In a recent Forbes interview, Chen said the company would focus on governments, financial services and health care. “I think we can capture those and become a winner,” said Chen.
Blackberry has taken a proactive approach in attempting to find and generate different sources of revenue.
“Their revenue sources are changing not because of re-entry into the smartphone market, but because they’re changing their line of business,” said Kevin Ramdas, professor of the Wireless Telecommunications program at Humber College.
“What they’re trying to do is become an IT software solutions provider,” added Ramdas.
This can be seen through one of their recent developments, called ‘Worklife by Blackberry’. This software installs separate phone lines onto an employee’s cell phone, allowing companies to separate work calls from personal calls, alleviating the need for cell phone expense reports.
Over the last three months, Blackberry has turned a small profit of just over 20 million dollars, according to a March 27, 2015 Blackberry press release.
Recently, the company has been focusing on marketing their security, with spokespersons such as Toronto Raptors General Manager Masaj Ujiri showing his support for the company.
This feature is what differentiates them from other smartphone providers.
“What Blackberry did was they encrypted their entire pathway from the beginning to end, onto their server, off of their server, everything,” said Ramdas. “That kept their e-mail a lot more secure then something like an iPhone.”
This sort of safety is essential within industries that are reliant on keeping information safe.
“When I’m working in a professional setting with very sensitive information, I would rather use a phone like a Blackberry because of the safety features,” said Mikki Singh, 25, final year Engineering student at Humber.
“I mean, that’s what Blackberry is known for, and that’s why a lot of execs are still using those kinds of phones,” he added.
Through some added promotion regarding Blackberry security features, sustaining their niche target market of high-level executive professionals, Blackberry has an opportunity to climb back up to where the company was five years ago.
Guelph-Humber Business student, Luke Appia, 21, says that Blackberry should still attempt to capture some of the younger generation through the implementation of more technologically advanced cameras and a bigger selection of apps.
“They (Blackberry) could produce more apps as well as larger screens,” said Appia.