BlackBerry was once the most popular smartphone brand in the United States. In 2010, nearly half of all smartphone users in the country used BlackBerrys, according to Comscore.
The BlackBerry phones were well-known for their tactile keyboards and advanced cybersecurity features, which made them a favorite among businesses and governments.
After its phones fell out of favor with users, BlackBerry altered its course, taking some of the cornerstones of the business with it. This included making changes to its operating system and focus on enterprise software.
John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, said that after a few years they realized they would never get the volume up. He said that it's a volume game, and they made the shift to a software-only company that focuses on security and cyber.
While it stopped manufacturing phones, it didn't go far from the industry. It now focuses on developing software and services for mobile devices.
According to Charles Eagen, BlackBerry's chief technology officer, the company currently has two main business units: a cybersecurity business unit and an IoT business unit within the cybersecurity business unit.
The company's cybersecurity unit focuses on securing smartphone applications and mobile banking websites, while its internet of things unit focuses on the communication of technology within connected and autonomous cars.
Chen said that their company now has the lion's share of embedded software in most cars.
According to BlackBerry, their technology is in use by approximately 215 million cars, and this side of the company is continuing to grow.
According to Luke Junk, senior analyst at Baird, the auto software industry is expected to roughly triple in size from 2020 through 2030. This presents a significant opportunity for businesses in the sector.
BlackBerry does face competition in the cybersecurity industry, but it is still a major player. In 2021, its revenue from cybersecurity was $500 million.
Junk believes that the company can reach a lower peak than in the past, but a more sustainable growth trajectory and potentially more profitable future.
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