In a recent interview with The Channel, BlackBerry’s Alex Thurber, VP for the company’s Mobility division, shed more light into the complexity and depth of this software/outsourcing pivot. In summary, the interview points out that BlackBerry will be giving their blessing to devices that bear their brand while partners handle all the risk associated aspects of distribution, manufacturing and promotion. BlackBerry will be there at the right time to inject their security keys to the hardware. BlackBerry will be along for the ride working with partners to proliferate their brand – setting standards along the way.
A key piece in the broader conversation surrounding Android vs BlackBerry 10 has been around what security credibility BlackBerry 10 will hold over its BlackBerry-Android counterpart. Alex details that while BlackBerry 10 OS is in the final stages of NIAP certification for government use, “next year” BlackBerry will have a NIAP certified Android.
Interesting times as BlackBerry also mentions continued support for BB10 in the interview:
“We continue to support the BlackBerry 10 operating system; some companies are interested in licensing it for handsets. If it’s a solid business model going forward we’ll work with a 3rd manufacturer. But we’re not close enough to say we’re going to do that.”
If BlackBerry can get both its flavor of Android and BlackBerry 10 OS aligned from a security perspective, they’ll gain further control of their software trajectory in the future. It’s a big asset that has been well invested into and will be interesting to watch longer term as this NIAP certification hits the larger Android scene.