Lately, there have been a number of rumours about BlackBerry 10 features being brought to Samsung devices, Samsung collaborating with BlackBerry, and some news agencies even reported that Samsung wanted to buy BlackBerry, offering them a whopping $7.5bn. BlackBerry and Samsung later issued statements denying the existence of any such offer. Although, this hasn’t stopped the companies from other smaller collaborations.
In 2014, Samsung was losing ground to Apple, even in the enterprise space with its KNOX service. CEO John Chen seized the opportunity to leverage BES to Samsung by powering KNOX security through BlackBerry. Unlike his predecessors, John Chen has encouraged offering BlackBerry’s security to other platforms. Chen’s main goal, it seems, is to secure every device connected to the internet. IoT doesn’t matter to BlackBerry – BlackBerry matters to IoT.
Former CEO Thorsten Heins introduced a redesigned OS with a brand new BBM, but that’s where it ended. John Chen went one step forward and started monetizing BBM, adding it to the list of BlackBerry’s sources of revenue. We’re yet to see how far this monetization will go. Sticker packs and custom PINs have already been very popular among BBM users. Message retraction and timed messages will soon become premium features. It was rumoured that BlackBerry was developing BBM for Tizen wearables when an image of a Gear 2 Smartwatch running BBM on Tizen OS surfaced back in July 2014. If the rumour materializes into anything, it will show BlackBerry’s interest not only in wearables, but in entirely different OSes.
When the slider was shown off at MWC earlier this year, there was speculation about how much contribution Samsung would be making to BlackBerry’s hardware in the future. The dual curve edge on the slider is something we’ve only seen on the Samsung Galaxy S6. An octa-core processor for the slider has been confirmed, but we don’t know if it will fall in line with the usual Snapdragon from Qualcomm, or if BlackBerry will change things up with the S6’s Exynos. Additionally, the integration of BES12 into Samsung KNOX further reinstates the mutual interest the companies share – collaboration. It is also rumoured that BlackBerry 10 devices will feature Tizen Android runtime – starting with the slider perhaps?
The launch of BlackBerry 10 under former CEO Thorsten Heins was something of a renaissance for the company. The roaring success was unfortunately short lived, and the figures generated by BlackBerry 10 device sales fell far short of what the company needed to get back on its feet. Collaboration with Samsung will be beneficial to both companies – BlackBerry offers the security Samsung needs, and the latter will fill the huge marketing void the Canadian smartphone company has unfortunately created for itself.
The collaboration will, at best, marginally diminish Apple’s market share. The iPhone 6, unfortunately, has not lived up to the expectations of market analysts. Even iOS 8 with all its security flaws has encouraged many Apple users to switch to something more secure. Samsung’s Galaxy S6 had a groundbreaking 20 million preorders, and is expected to sell 70 million devices in the coming weeks.
Samsung has always been open to the idea of shifting its focus to what its users want. BlackBerry, on the other hand, has failed to listen to its customers. One good example is the delay in producing a high end all touch device that many users wanted, because a physical keyboard just doesn’t make the cut anymore. With the slider possibly being the only high end device being launched this year, it is safe to say that the slider is the high end all touch we’ve all been waiting for.
How far do you think the Samsung-BlackBerry partnership will go? Let us know in the comments below.