BlackBerry planning to license its own fork of Android to device makers

BlackBerry has seen a resurgence of late after launching its KEYone, offering the advanced security features users grew accustomed to on older devices from the company. However, it has reportedly been in talks with other OEMs, as it attempts to license out the BlackBerry Secure platform to device makers.

According to the report, an official within the company noted that BlackBerry was in talks with several device makers in India and beyond, the former being a market it was extremely interested in, to bring its Android-fork to other devices outside of the BlackBerry ecosystem. Its version of the mobile OS from Google, offers a higher level of security than what is usually found on stock Android.

Alex Thurber, Senior Vice President, commented on the company's several upcoming licensing contracts:

“We have a number of different contracts that we are working on right now. We expect some to be announced soon. We have an agreement with Optiemus for the India market for BlackBerry Secure.”

Optiemus, which has a brand-licensing deal with BlackBerry in India - similar to the deal that HMD Global has with Nokia - allows them to distribute, manufacture and support devices carrying the Canadian company's name. The push by BlackBerry on licensing deals for its in-house software will give it a larger footprint in the smartphone world. Comparisons can be made to how Microsoft has pushed Android manufacturers to bundle its apps by default on new devices, even as its own smartphone aspirations wane.

BlackBerry recently released a cryptic video, teasing a new announcement for IFA 2017, which starts on September 1.

Source: ET Telecom

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