From Crackberry to paranoid Android


Remember Blackberry? Everyone’s third favourite ‘tech company named after a fruit’ is still around, and it’s desperately trying to revitalise itself by concentrating on enterprise security.

Last week, details of a new security-focussed Blackberry smartphone (called ‘Priv’ for privacy, obviously) were leaked (ironically). The CEO has since confirmed the hardware is powered by a heavily modified version of Android and promises a “best in class” secure mobile operating system for enterprise use. The handset features pleasing nods to Blackberry’s design heritage, including updates to the physical keyboard that made it a favourite with inbox junkies.

The major smartphone manufacturers have been slow in responding to an increasing desire from businesses for a more secure working environment. An onslaught of security breaches, privacy concerns and information lost to hackers are big threats as they make the transition to working in the cloud.

The Blackberry Priv isn’t the first smartphone to deal directly with these threats: this week the Blackphone 2 was released in the US, a similarly security-heavy Android handset described by Forbes as “a slick but very expensive prophylactic for your Android security woes”.

Things may look bleak for Blackberry, but a reinvigorated business focus may yet turn things around. While its market share has been squeezed drastically by Apple, Samsung and the rest, Blackberry retains a loyal following from spy agencies around the world – and President Obama.


This originally appeared in Moving Brands Wednesday 20150930.

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