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7 Dec 2022
Why BlackBerry Company Transition from Iconic Cellphones to Cybersecurity
Once a dominant force in the American smartphone market, the Blackberry made up more than half of U.S. smartphone subscribers in 2010, according to ComScore.
Blackberry phones were often renowned for their high level of cyber security and tactile keyboards — these features attracted both governments and businesses around the globe.
However, the company changed its direction after its phones fell out of users' favor, losing some of the business's cornerstones.
"After a few years, we realized that we would never get the volume up — and it's a volume game," "And so we made that pivotal shift to a software-only company and focused on security and cyber and things of that sort," said John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry.
Although it stopped manufacturing phones, it did not leave the industry.
"BlackBerry has two main business units, a cybersecurity business unit and an IoT business unit within the cybersecurity business unit," BlackBerry's chief technology officer, Charles Eagen, said.
The cybersecurity unit protects smartphone applications and mobile banking websites. Its internet of things unit communicates technology within connected and autonomous vehicles.
"We now have the lion's share of embedded software in most cars," Chen said.
According to the company, BlackBerry's technology is in 215 million vehicles, and this branch of the company continues to grow at breakneck speed.
"If we look at the industry opportunity itself, we expect that the auto software industry will roughly triple in size from 2020 through 2030," Baird senior analyst Luke Junk said.
All that said, BlackBerry has to contend with competitors in the cybersecurity space; as of 2021, revenue from cybersecurity only amounts to $500 million.
"I think that the company can reach likely a lower peak than we've seen in the past but a more sustainable growth trajectory and potentially more profitable future as well on a margin percentage basis," Junk added.
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