BlackBerry signs licensing deal to provide security for rugged CAT and Land Rover phones

BlackBerry signs licensing deal to provide security for rugged CAT and Land Rover phones
BlackBerry announced yesterday that it will partner with British smartphone manufacturer Bullitt Group to certify as "BlackBerry Secure" upcoming versions of Bullitt's rugged CAT and Land Rover branded smartphones. Adding BlackBerry's cybersecurity technology to future models of these phones will make them durable on the outside and secure on the inside. BlackBerry Secure combines BlackBerry's proprietary software and applications to protect device users' privacy while blocking attackers from exploiting the vulnerabilities found on a device.

Bullitt licenses the CAT and Land Rover names for its phones, which are designed for use in environments like construction sites where less rugged phones have met their demise. The company sells its handsets in over 100 countries with the majority of sales taking place in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and Latin America.


On Friday, BlackBerry also reported its fiscal first quarter 2019 earnings. Software and services revenue rose 18% year-over-year to $189 million (based on GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Overall, the company reported revenue of $219 million for the three month period. BlackBerry did report a net loss of 11 cents a share (again, based on GAAP) for the period. It expects software and services revenue to grow 8% to 10% for the fiscal year 2019.

source: BlackBerry

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27 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

Awesome. This is a big customer win for BlackBerry. And their first Quarter results of 2019 continue to prove that BlackBerry is alive and well and growing profits. BlackBerry being a software and services company now and no longer doing smartphone hardware has definitely paid off for them, and continues to do so.

2. modu9 unregistered

I would love to see the mobile division become profitable and thrive. I don't know the strategy by TCL/ BlackBerry Mobile but I can't help thinking that they are overly cautious, which to a certain extent, is holding them back.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

I would say that they are being realistic. TCL/BlackBerry Mobile knows that BlackBerry branded smartphones with their innovative, iconic physical keyboards and a focus on productivity, longevity, security and privacy isn’t going to sell much beyond the niche market that has a need for this. That’s a small market when compared to the market which serves the average consumer that prefers all touch devices that have a strong preference towards entertainment. If they become overzealous, the risk running into the problems that come with trying to move the inventory that didn’t sell.

4. SamsungNewbie

Posts: 143; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

As Samsung originally stated and Steve Jobs stole at the unveiling for the first iPhone: who wants a keyboard that’s stuck there and can’t adapt to what the application needs? Samsung got it right when they invented capacitive on screen keyboards and everyone after has just followed.

8. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

You mad bruhh? Do you even know wtf are you saying?

13. SamsungNewbie

Posts: 143; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Yes, I am putting the facts out there. Get out of your reality distortion field.

11. Subie

Posts: 2361; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I agree with everything you said from a business perspective. But from a consumer's perspective I would love to see something like the Blackberry Ghost series from Optiemus here in North America.

5. modu9 unregistered

That is the thing, meanestgenius, they don't need to look at the market in that way. Let's face it, slabs are making money for a number of manufacturers and they should look very seriously in that direction. Personally, I love the Key2 form factor and am getting one as soon as it becomes available, but I feel this is the time TCL/BlackBerry Mobile really make a concerted effort in two more slabs and maybe another Key2 variant that would be cheaper. I believe they need only four phones, ie, Key? and its cheaper brother; a high-end all-touch phone (yes, they do need to go there but price it competitvely) and then a mid-end brother. Pricing is their achilles heel, unfortunately. Only four phones in their portfolio, that is it. The last ingredient would be marketing. I would like to think that after the Key2 they would be in a position to go that route, the Key1 was some sort of re-introduction of the brand and the Key2 is to cement that. Sometimes you have to take your chances and the Key1 made it possible for them to take bolder steps. Just look at HMD/Nokia.

7. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That number of manufacturers is 2, Samsung and Apple. Everybody else is losing money or barely breaking even.

9. modu9 unregistered

Huawei and Xiaomi are doing rather well. Don't forget Nokia, too.

12. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

If you think Xiaomi is doing well, you won't be a financial planner anytime soon. https://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-q1-2018-loss-ipo-875207/ Thanks to our asshole-in-chief, Huawei may be in a pickle along with ZTE.

20. modu9 unregistered

Read the Xiaomi report properly including the last one of a 46 billion loss.

10. Subie

Posts: 2361; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

TCL sold the Dtek 50 and 60, as well as the Motion. Did any of those "slabs" really do anything for TCL's bottom line? From a business perspective I think MG is right.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

Thank you. I’m looking at this exactly from a business perspective. And from that perspective, TCL is approaching the right market in the right manner with their BlackBerry branded smartphones.

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

You’re wrong if you think they don’t have to look at from that perspective. They absolutely do. The only manufacturers currently making any real money with their all touch slabs are Apple and Samsung. Together, they garner over 90% of the profit-share among smartphone OEM’s. Everyone else is fighting for the scraps left over from that. Even those that are moving handsets and gaining market share like Huawei and Nokia aren’t making anywhere near the profit that Apple is, and aren’t making what Samsung is, profit wise. TCL is playing it smart by approaching the niche market that BlackBerry branded smartphones are aimed at conservatively. TCL does make an all touch BlackBerry branded smartphone that is cheaper than its pkb sibling, but it doesn’t sell as well as the latter. Most people looking to buy a smartphone with the name BlackBerry on it are doing so because of the physical keyboard primarily, and the rest of what BlackBerry branded smartphones have to offer second. Most people looking for all touch slabs don’t consider an all touch BlackBerry. These are the facts and TCL knows this, hence why they push the pkb BlackBerry branded smartphones primarily. BlackBerry smartphones are primarily made for getting things done, productivity and longevity. They are not, nor have they ever been, made for having the latest and greatest in terms of horsepower. And they don’t need to make one for that, either. BlackBerry’s are marketed to a different segment, and not everyone wants or needs a high end smartphone that’s just going to have you running for a charger in the middle of the day. I feel that BlackBerry branded smartphones are priced better than today’s all touch flagships. If you notice, HMD/Nokia is focusing on the low end to upper mid range segment of the smartphone market. The reason being is because that’s where the money is to be made for any OEM not named Apple and Samsung. Will HMD/Nokia produce a high end smartphone? Absolutely. But that won’t be their primary focus. Both BlackBerry Mobile/TCL and HMD/Nokia are business savvy enough to realize this, hence their focus.

21. modu9 unregistered

The one major problem with BlackBerry (and I have already mentioned it on my last post) has always been advertising and marketing. I know this is TCL/BlackBerry Mobile but the symptoms seem the same still. There is money to be made in the all-touch market and clearly BB Mobile is not in it to challenge the big boys (at least for the moment any way) but those "scraps" that you mentioned add up to the bottom line. Those claiming the D-Tek series didn't sell missed another point I made, that is, that the phone that put BlackBerry in a better light is the KeyOne and thus they should capitalise on that along with good and clever marketing. I guess we shall see how their strategy unfolds as time moves on.

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

Let’s just make one thing clear first: This article is about BlackBerry. They are no longer making smartphones. They are a software and security services company now. Going by what’s in this article, BlackBerry is doing pretty well these days. They are growing profits from their software and services, and this is a great customer win for BlackBerry. With that said: Marketing has always been an issue for BlackBerry. No one is or has disputed that. But TCL has done a much better job at marketing. KEYᵒⁿᵉ product placement on television shows has been great. At Yankee Stadium, there were huge ads being run about the KEYᵒⁿᵉ at every soccer game, as BlackBerry Mobile was a sponsor. There have been many advertisements on the internet about the KEYᵒⁿᵉ. Can they do more? Of course. But if you are expecting billions and billions of dollars to be spent on marketing like Apple and Samsung spend, you can forget that. No other OEM spends has that kind of money to spend on advertising. Google doesn’t spend that much money on advertising for the Pixel. Microsoft didn’t do that when they were making smartphones either, and Microsoft and Google are industry giants. I don’t think you understand the fact that when it comes to all touch devices, Apple and Samsung have that locked down. EVERY OTHER smartphone manufacturer is struggling to make a profit, and the most people looking at all touch smartphones aren’t going for a BlackBerry. This is a proven fact. The BlackBerry smartphones that sell any meaningful numbers (to its niche audience) are the ones with the physical keyboard. BlackBerry knew this. TCL knows this. We can wish upon a Star for a lot of things, but this is business 101. No company is going to waste the money pursuing something when they know that it won’t work when compared to what does work for them. The DTEK series did little, if anything at all, to put BlackBerry smartphones in a better light. As you can see, after the DTEK series, BlackBerry exited the smartphone space and went and got three licensees to build, market, price, etc their smartphones while they just provide the software and services. The KEYᵒⁿᵉ did all the heavy lifting when getting people to take notice of BlackBerry smartphones again. And guess what? It has that iconic, innovative keyboard that people associate with BlackBerry. I Guarantee you that had TCL/BlackBerry Mobile led with an all touch smartphone as opposed to the KEYᵒⁿᵉ with a ohysical keyboard, it would not have sold as much as the KEYᵒⁿᵉ did. One can “armchair CEO” and say what they will, but the evidence that’s been there for decades points to people in the market for a BlackBerry choose a physical keyboard BlackBerry over an al touch one by a huge margin. No company is going to put extra resources behind something that has proven not to sell as well as what does sell well for them.

6. modu9 unregistered

That is the thing, meanestgenius, they don't need to look at the market in that way. Let's face it, slabs are making money for a number of manufacturers and they should look very seriously in that direction. Personally, I love the Key2 form factor and am getting one as soon as it becomes available, but I feel this is the time TCL/BlackBerry Mobile really make a concerted effort in two more slabs and maybe another Key2 variant that would be cheaper. I believe they need only four phones (for the future), ie, Key3 and its cheaper brother; a high-end all-touch phone (yes, they do need to go there but price it competitvely) and then a mid-end brother. Pricing is their achilles heel, unfortunately. Only four phones in their portfolio, that is it. The last ingredient would be marketing. I would like to think that after the Key2 they would be in a position to go that route, the Key1 was some sort of re-introduction of the brand and the Key2 is to cement that.

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 22043; Member since: May 28, 2014

See my comment #16.

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