BlackBerry has made the transition from a struggling hardware company to a successful software and licensing company under the leadership of CEO John Chen, who took over in late 2013.
It had to adapt since sales of its once iconic phones were plunging. BlackBerry couldn’t keep up in a smartphone market dominated by Apple’s iPhone and Google Android phones made by the likes of Samsung.
The company is making a big chunk of its money from licensing deals for other smartphone makers that run BlackBerry’s software. BlackBerry announced in 2016 that it would stop making its trademark phones that was ones popular.
Instead, BlackBerry is outsourcing the production of BlackBerry-branded phones. The company is focusing more on making apps that are used on Android phones.
BlackBerry even has a new deal with Microsoft that will make it easier and more secure for more businesses to use Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 apps on mobile devices.
The company has made a big bet on connected cars as well. Jaguar Land Rover recently announced it will use BlackBerry’s QNX software for navigation and so-called infotainment services in new cars. Ford is another top BlackBerry automotive customer too.
BlackBerry also launched a cybersecurity tool called Jarvis at the Detroit Auto Show that will help automakers find security flaws in their vehicles. CEO John Chen said BlackBerry will continue to focus on the automotive market as a key driver for growth.