BlackBerry reveals survival bid at MWC

Blackberry phone

BlackBerry is to port key apps and services to competing operating systems from Apple, Microsoft and Google in a bid to survive.

The phonemaker revealed its cross-platform deployment strategy at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 yesterday, after predictions its non-business customer base would drop below one million before the end of the year.

BlackBerry plans to remedy this decline by bringingthree bundles of native apps, collectively titled the BlackBerry Experience Suite, to iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

The Suite is split between productivity, security and collaboration suites, the last of which is its much-vaunted BlackBerry Hub, its single inbox for texts, social updates and email.

Emphasising the ability to split tasks and workload across multiple devices, the company has also made its commitment to mobile security plain by infusing these elements with its trademark privacy protections.

Users will be able to work together on documents, encrypt their data and manage business and personal communication with the suite of apps, which BlackBerry hopes will help it rake in $500 million in software sales.

BlackBerry also announced a partnership with Samsung yesterday on a range of security and services solutions, including the Knox security platform,despite criticising this offering last year.

The Korean company's Knox system an embedded hardware and software-integrated security and privacy platform will now work in conjunction with WorkLife by BlackBerry.

This will allow companies to separate business and personal device usage, paying only for work-related calls, texts and data consumption, the firms claim.

BlackBerry's recent acquisition of privacy tool SecuSUITE will also be folded into Knox-based services, enabling tap-proof voice and SMS services.

The Secusmart Security Card (compatible with the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy S6), can also be used with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12 to provide end-to-end encryption.

MWC 2015 is looking set to be a busy time for BlackBerry, as the Canadian firm will also use the trade show to unveil their roadmap for the coming years.

Despite their increasing focus on software packages, CEO John Chen has reaffirmed his intention to "continue to build a hardware business", and it's been widely rumoured that a new BlackBerry handset will be announced in Barcelona.

One of the more persistent rumours is that the new phone will take the form of a budget offering.

According to news site N4BB, the device will launch as the Blackberry Leap, with a full 5-in touchscreen, 2GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU. Photos have also been leaked that allegedly show a production version of the new hardware.

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.