There’s an old saying, “May you live in interesting times.” Well as you’re about to see, 2016 was quite an interesting year indeed, especially with all the buzz surrounding hacks and Cybersecurity. I had a bit of trouble prioritizing the events – so don’t give too much weight to the order (except #1). So here we go – 2016, The Year in Review:
10. DTEK50/60 touted as the most secure android handset – with the release of the DTEK series smartphones, BlackBerry announced them as “the World’s Most Secure Android Smartphone”. While this claim may seem brazen, it has yet to be challenged by any company, nor has any ‘BlackDroid’ been rooted.
9. Shift in focus to software – John Chen has been very clear during communications regarding the future direction of BlackBerry. He’s been transparent and granular about the laser-like focus on software including the Enterprise of Things (EoT), QNX, and Cybersecurity. For 3rd Q 2016, Software and services accounted for 55.36% of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) revenue.
8. Future handsets to be built by TCL. On 15 Dec BlackBerry published a Press Release announcing their “Software and Brand Licensing Agreement with TCL Communication“. TCL “will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.” So it appears that the upcoming ‘Mercury’ will be the last phone built directly by BlackBerry – fear not, as this shift will allow BlackBerry to further focus on their World Class Cybersecurity and software development.
7. 10.3.3 update is rolled out reiterating BlackBerry’s commitment to the award winning BB10 platform (after gaining National Information Assurance Partnership [NIAP] status)
6. Marshmallow and Nougat updates. BlackBerry has been queued up waiting for the Marshmallow (android v6.x) update to Nougat (android v7.x) for some time. As further iterations of the Android OS roll out the lines between our beloved BB10 and BlackDroid are getting closer and closer. Given the availability to apps and legendary BlackBerry security, Nougat may potentially blur the lines between platforms.
5. Monthly OS security updates – according to a recent article “The FCC is displeased with the fact that while service providers and manufacturers have created fixes, there are significant delays in the delivery of the patches to consumers’ devices and in many cases older smartphones and tablets never get the security updates.“
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has kept on top of these updates since it took on the Android OS. Other mobile device vendors can take weeks, months or even years to deliver security patches,” the Ontario-based firm bragged in a blog post. BlackBerry’s steadfast commitment to timely security updates is just one of the many reasons why BlackBerry continues to be the undisputed leader in mobile privacy and security.
3. Recognition – QNX, AtHoc, BBM, and Good Dynamics continue to garner awards such as Gartner Positioning BlackBerry in Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites
2. Corporate moves – “Announced plans to launch a Federal Cybersecurity Operations Center to support FedRAMP and other government security certification initiatives; the center will be led by former U.S. Coast Guard CIO, Rear Admiral Bob Day Jr. (retired), After the quarter close, launched BlackBerry Secure, a comprehensive and fully integrated enterprise mobility platform that allows enterprises to increase security, productivity and collaboration, accelerate key business processes and reduce total cost of ownership, After the quarter close, announced plans to launch the BlackBerry Innovation Center in Ottawa; the center will focus on developing secure software for connected cars and autonomous driving”, BlackBerry moving its’ European headquarters to Maidenhead.
1. The Marty Beard interview on UTB – give it a listen and you’ll hear BlackBerry reconfirm it’s commitment to BB10. Yes, that’s correct – during the UTB interview with Chief Operating Officer, Marty Beard, he reconfirms BlackBerry’s commitment to both Enterprise AND consumers users (drops mike, exits!).
So let’s sit back, take a breath, enjoy a beverage, and revel in the goodness BlackBerry has provided us in 2016. I can’t even imagine the great things that 2017 will hold in store!