With Mobile World Congress underway in Barcelona, BlackBerry has decided to use the annual conference as a platform for announcing information about its plans for the new year.
The company has revealed it will heavily focus on software by delivering a number of cross-platform apps. It'll start by launching three bundles of apps called the BlackBerry Experience Suite. You'll be able to buy the apps individually or together, and they're all about productivity, communication, collaboration, and security.
Example apps include the BBM messaging service and BlackBerry Hub unified inbox. All the apps will be available for smartphone and tablets running iOS, Android, and Windows. BlackBerry said it wants to bring in $500 million in revenue from software sales this year, and it thinks the new Experience Suite will help it achieve that goal.
With BlackBerry’s name getting less and less relevant in the hardware space, the company is clearly trying to stay alive through software and the business sector. John Chen, BlackBerry's CEO, said during a conference call that he is confident BlackBerry can continue its hardware business, but in the mean time, going cross-platform is a natural evolution.
“This is just a very natural evolution of taking our OS, the surfaces and security layers around it and putting it on others’ devices, so that our serviceable market is not only ‘BlackBerry’ devices, but all devices,” he said. "Our goal is to be wherever our users need and want us, with our software suites, whether that’s on an iPhone or a BlackBerry Classic.”
Apart from the BlackBerry Experience Suite, Blackberry also announced it has extended the Samsung Knox partnership with Samsung to include new BlackBerry enterprise service like WorkLife by BlackBerry and Secusuite. It also said new customisation features were coming to BBM for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry 10.
The new BBM features should add personalisation and privacy options, including Android Wear support, custom BBM PINs, password protection for iOS users, and more.