BlackBerry made a bold move in declaring themselves a strict software company, and they’ve held up on that transition. Although we get BlackBerry devices still, BlackBerry doesn’t actually make them — they license the work out to TCL, the maker of Alcatel phones.
But it sounds like you won’t even have to buy a BlackBerry device to get BlackBerry’s secure version of Android in the future. The Economic Times reports that BlackBerry is looking to license their firmware out for other OEMs who believe in BlackBerry security.
Dubbed BlackBerry Secure, we imagine it would offer the same level of tight security that current devices like the BlackBerry KEYone offer, barring any special hardware considerations such as secure element chips.
BlackBerry sounds like they’re already off to a decent start with this idea, with SVP Alex Thurber suggesting they’re already penning a number of different contracts with different OEMs. Some of them, he says, are expected to be announced soon.
It’s a really compelling proposition, but it’s hard to get excited about it in the early going. As nice as BlackBerry’s software has proven to be, how will it behave when other OEMs handle it themselves? Or is BlackBerry going to handle the maintenance and deployment of the kit to ensure their reputation of fast, stable updates holds up? Those are details we’ll have to extract once the news is made formal.