BlackBerry in talks to license its version of Android called "BlackBerry Secure"

BlackBerry in talks to license its version of Android called
According to a report published today, BlackBerry has started the second phase of its licensing strategy. The first part was to sign licensing deals that allow other companies like TCL to design, produce, deliver and promote BlackBerry handsets. Under this plan, BlackBerry provides the software for phones like the DTEK60 and the BlackBerry KEYone while TCL handles the hardware.

The second phase also involves licensing. BlackBerry is in talks with global smartphone manufacturers to provide them with its secure version of the Android OS. The software is called BlackBerry Secure, which comes with all of the security features found in an Android-flavored BlackBerry smartphone.

In India, BlackBerry already has a deal for BlackBerry Secure with Optiemus. This is the company that recently launched in India the limited edition BlackBerry KEYone in black, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of native storage. Optiemus also has a 10-year hardware license with BlackBerry covering India, that is similar to the pact that both TCL and BB Merah Putih signed. The latter can use the BlackBerry name in Indonesia only, while TCL's license covers the rest of global market.

BlackBerry executive Alex Thurber says that India could be a huge market for BlackBerry Secure. He says that BlackBerry is very focused on the region as consumers there are becoming more interested in privacy, which could help drive more sales of BlackBerry smartphones powered by BlackBerry Secure.


source: ETTelecom

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28 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Now THIS is what I'm talking about. BlackBerry taking their Secure Android platform to the next level. This is awesome. Looking forward to seeing other smartphone OEM's and devices used in the IoT using BlackBerry Secure to power their devices.

14. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 904; Member since: May 07, 2014

Watch out Mxytic is coming..

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Too late, lol.

23. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

Watch out, MG will get really giddy.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Confirmed triggered because someone else pointed out how you troll BlackBerry articles. https://imgur.com/a/VwDuo

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Waiting on the resident hater to try and spin this into a negative, or post about his extreme denial concerning BlackBerry having already exited the hardware segment of the smartphone field.

7. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

[Deleted]

15. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 904; Member since: May 07, 2014

essential would be the ideal client

17. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally agree.

21. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 01, 2017

Maybe if blackberry doesn't want people to use the platform... I don't see the Essential Phone lasting more than maybe 2 releases

24. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

Prove that they won't.

19. Furbal unregistered

Would love to see huawei or xiaomi get on a line of phones with this. Great hardware/price with good software

20. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Woah, a Samsung S9 running this Blackberry Secure Android would be cool, but doubt Samsung would ever want that, as it might pose as a challenge to it's Knox services.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry was the one that Samsung turned to so that they could properly Secure Knox, so this wouldn't such a far fetched idea.

5. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

I don't know, Samsung already has a lot running on their devices as is. This would be overkill and it would clash with Knox.

8. Subie

Posts: 2295; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

I think you might be right. "BlackBerry is in talks with global smartphone manufacturers to provide them with its secure version of the Android OS" Based on this quote it would seem that this would be for manufactures that don't have their own skin or overlay already on top of android. This could definitely clash with Touchwiz, Sense, ZenUI or whatever skin OEMs choose to use. I could see up and coming OEM's to try this though and use it to help market their Phones. I could be wrong though, and seeing as how this isn't an official BB announcement, any actual deal regarding this software could actually be quite different then what I'm lead to believe here. I read the source article too.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

While I do think it would take much more work to get the BlackBerry Secure OS to gel with a heavy skin like Touchwiz, I believe that it could happen. BlackBerry has already gotten their SecuSuite software platform to work well with Knox and Touchwiz on the Samsung Galaxy S7:https://www.infoworld.com/article/3182710/mobile-security/blackberry-readies-a-more-secure-version-of-the-samsung-galaxy-s7.html But it'd be much easier to get this up and running on a stock/near stock Android device like the Pixel line or Nokia's branded smartphones, for example.

25. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

I agree. +1 Subie for a factual, well thought out comment that hit the major high points.

6. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

I think blackberry would be better off with this as a service on their website or on Google Play. I don't think they can license a version of Android without going through Google. Now Google buying blackberry and keeping them separate but using their security on the best Android phone coming up, the Pixel 2, would be great. Of course, as usual, someone is going misunderstand me and start complaining about what I said even though it's perfectly neutral.

9. Subie

Posts: 2295; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Android is already free. I think this would be more like them licencing their "Overlay" if you want to call it that. Kind of like if Samsung was to licence touchwiz per se.

10. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Absolutely. BlackBerry would not have to pay for something that's given away at no monetary cost. I could actually see top tier OEM's using this to make an Android handset for the enterprise market, separate from their consumer offering.

13. Subie

Posts: 2295; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Great point about the enterprise market. I guess time will tell how well this takes off for Blackberry...

18. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Nothing to misunderstand, except you have the facts wrong as usual. AOSP is not owned by Google. What Google controls is Play Services, not Android.

12. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

I would load a Blackberry ROM in no time, especially on a Nokia 6... Or any of the Nokia smartphones, really.

22. domfonusr

Posts: 1070; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Question: is this just another UI skin, or are we talking about a full-on forked version of Android? I ask because we have seen things turn out both ways with forked Android - Amazon used it to great advantage with their Kindle Fire tablets (though we haven't seen a new one of those since two years ago), and yet we have seen other versions of forked Android utterly bomb, like that found on the Nokia X, X+, XL, and X2 (of course, Nokia was trying to make it look like Windows Phone, which was at least one unfortunate misstep among many). I don't doubt that BlackBerry can pull it off, but how heavy-handed do they really need to be to make it their own? How much risk do they need to take in order to succeed? I thought the KEYone was great enough progress already... I was hoping to see more like that in the future from the BlackBerry/TCL partnership.

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 21453; Member since: May 28, 2014

Well, BlackBerry produces makes changes do Android's core when they add their Security into the OS, so you could say it's more than a UI skin, especially since BlackBerry Android handsets use near stock Android.

28. domfonusr

Posts: 1070; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

So, it's somewhere in between, then? More than a UI skin, but not really forked Android either?

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