BlackBerry has reported better than expected results by investors thanks to its strength in technology solutions and license business. Stocks rose nearly 2%, in stark contrast to the rest of the market.
CEO John Chen said focusing on the smart car market has helped increase sales for the company. Sales from this segment increased by 23% compared to a year ago. BlackBerry is developing self-driving vehicle technology as well as infotainment software (music, maps …) through the QNX department. It contracts with major automakers such as Ford, Hyundai, Aptiv, Denso suppliers and technology giants like Baidu.
Not only that, BlackBerry is now a big player on the network security front. Last month, the company agreed to buy Cylance, a business that uses artificial intelligence to monitor and prevent cyber attacks, for $ 1.4 billion. Mr. Chen said acquiring Cylance will help strengthen the automobile department thanks to helping the car drive more safely by viruses and malicious code.
However, Mr. Chen understands that there must be more to BlackBerry to achieve old glory. He joined BlackBerry at the end of 2013 and since he became the head, the company no longer produces the phone itself.
BlackBerry phones were the first choice of Wall Street brokers, politicians, celebrities. Former US President Barack Obama is often seen using a BlackBerry smartphone. But, due to not keeping up with the touch screen game, customers dropped out of the company to go to Apple, Samsung and other Android manufacturers.
It will take time before moving away from hardware brings solid growth for the company. Despite a sudden increase in revenue from services and licensing, BlackBerry’s overall revenue remained unchanged from a year ago. Mr. Chen’s goal is to grow every year. Revenue is no longer declining but the focus is on building a reliable growth machine.