BlackBerry Eyes Up Partners To Combat IBM-Apple Threat

BlackBerry says it is in discussions with potential partners to help the company combat IBM and Apple’s recent agreement for the former to sell iPads and iPhones to customers and to create custom industry-specific applications.

In an interview with the Financial Times, CEO John Chen admitted BlackBerry had spoken with unidentified partners about working together in some parts of the enterprise market, adding the IBM-Apple marriage was both good and bad news for his company.

“I am working on some, and maybe we will collaborate with others,” he told the newspaper. “If I focus on security and identity management then we will be a good solid partner in this enterprise world.”

BlackBerry Dell tie-up?

BlackBerry shares fell by five percent following the announcement of the IBM and Apple’s deal amid fears that this would be a direct threat to the Canadian company’s recovery, which is cantered around selling devices and services to enterprises. However Chen believes its competitors partnership validated his company’s strategy and welcomed the competition.

He speculates as to how two large companies can work together and claims the more “nimble” BlackBerry could come out on top.

Dell is being suggested as a potential partner because of its large customer base and increasing focus on security and mobility, but the Austin, Texas-based firm told Reuters that it didn’t feel threatened by IBM’s latest move.

Chen also mentioned that BlackBerry’s latest restructuring was almost complete and that it would continue to focus on the business market rather than the consumer sector for the time being. The company has downsized and cut costs dramatically since it abandoned plans to sell itself last year and recently posted a modest profit of £13 million during the first quarter of 2014, a drastic improvement from the £49 it lost during the same period in 2013.

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Is this the beginning of a new dawn for BlackBerry in 2014? Try our 2013 BlackBerry quiz!

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

View Comments

  • With the new BlackBerry coming out I better sell my old BlackBerry before the value of it drops. I usually search 1-13 different sites to find the best offer, but I just found this company that compares all the buyback companies in one spot, it’s called RecomHub.

    It’s like Kayak but for electronic devices that show you all the offers in one spot.

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