It’s been 15 years since BlackBerry released its first smartphone in 2002. Research firm Gartner says sales for BlackBerry, nicknamed CrackBerry by fans, peaked in 2011, with 52 million smartphones sold. But amid increasing competition from Apple and Samsung, the company has seen a steady decline in sales.
But now Blackberry is on a mission to reinvent its brand by focusing on software and security.
“So all the interfaces that you’re used to and all new stuff that we will still do and provide, we manage all that, but we have other people building hardwares,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Friday on “CBS This Morning.” “And we have three licensees so far and we’re probably going to have a lot.”
Last year BlackBerry announced they would stop building their own phones, outsourcing their hardware development. This allows them to focus on the “internet of things,” Chen said, to take their software beyond phones and into every day devices like washers and dryers.
Asked what Blackberry has that Apple and Samsung don’t, Chen said “security.” He used former President Obama as an example of someone in government who used the BlackBerry.
“We are the most secure infrastructure, software,” Chen said.