BlackBerry Would Team Up with Apple on Security, Says CEO


BlackBerry is losing ground every day to Apple (and Android) in the worldwide smartphone market it helped create. But there is one a particular segment where Apple may need help, and BlackBerry would jump in, the company CEO has told CNN.

That area is security. While iOS was created with security at its core, BlackBerry is renowned for its security advantages, hence even US president Barack Obama uses such a device, not an iPhone.


As BlackBerry slowly moves its focus away from the struggling smartphone manufacturing business, company CEO John Chen is using every opportunity to push the most productive arm of the business: software and services. And this is exactly what happened during an interview with CNNMoney’s Cristina Alesci: Chen emphasized that Blackberry would be open to partnership talks.

He didn’t comment on whether Apple had approached him on the matter, though. What he did mention is that conversations with competitors are always on.

“Yes, if Apple would ever come to us and would love to have our security, we could talk,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said.

It’s important to note that competition doesn’t necessarily mean hatred, in Chen’s eyes. He sees smartphone competition as similar to a sports event, where athletes can maintain good friendships while they compete against each other.

“Yes, we speak to our rivals. We may be going after the same customer base, but we’re not enemies. You can be friends and compete — like athletes,” Chen said.

Fact is, Chen made possible something few people had thought he could do: He stopped BlackBerry bleeding and put it back in business. He did that by moving the focus from the unproductive smartphone manufacturing business toward a much higher margin software and services business.


  • Dean-Dina Lubaki

    Balsillie on the iPhone in February 2007: “It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.”

    Mike Lazaridis on the iPhone in November 2007: “Try typing a web key on a touchscreen on an Apple iPhone, that’s a real challenge. You cannot see what you type”

    And so on… BlackBerry CEOs have talked so much shhh about the iPhone I doubt ? would ever consider a partnership with them.

  • Rio

    That is why they are no more apart of the company. If Apple refused to do business based on that, they would be just as Bad as Blackberry.

    IF Apple sees value in working with BB then itll be.

  • FragilityG4

    Well if Obama uses it ……..

  • Salinger

    Steve Jobs in 2010 on phone screens larger than 3.5″: “you can’t get your hand around it, no one’s going to buy that.”

    Things change.

  • ShaBi

    You seemed to have forgotten the partnership between Apple and Microsoft, when everyone thought they would be enemies for life. As well as the recent partnership with IBM, who has a completely different business model. Also the partnership that is ongoing between Apple and Samsung, even though Samsung attacks/mocks the shit of out Apple.

    Anything could happen in the business world. It’s never about who’s talking shit about who, but how to make the most profit with the best interest for the company. Your way of thinking will greatly limit your success in running a business.

  • Dean-Dina Lubaki

    Okay. First, it wasn’t a true partnership between Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft invested in 1997 in Apple and they committed to continue Office for Mac as a lawsuit settlement. So no, Microsoft did not really save Apple or partner with them.

    Second, I know for IBM, but IBM did not diss the iPhone, then the iPad.

    And this deal is a great way for Apple to enter the business market. You know the old IBM/Lenovo registers? I can see a future setup with an iPad but still IBM software.

    I know anything can happen in the business world, but knowing Apple, they would rather purchase a company specialized in security than partner with BlackBerry.

    “Your way of thinking will greatly limit your success in running a business.” This is not my way of thinking in general. This is my perception of how Apple would react, specifically Apple. So stop generalizing.

  • Dean-Dina Lubaki

    But they found a way to make it work, with Reachability.

  • Salinger

    Nonsense. Reachability is a gimmick. And it doesn’t make your hand bigger. If your hand doesn’t reach the far end of the screen before, lowering the top portion won’t help. Jobs wasn’t an idiot, he could have come up with “reachability” or something else if he truly believed in larger screen sizes, but he was vehemently against it, ergo so was Apple.

    As I said, things change.