BlackBerry aims to be major M2M player in five years: Economic Times

BlackBerry chief executive John Chen expects the device maker to be a major force in the M2M industry in the next five years.

In an interview with India’s Economic Times newspaper, Chen said one of his main targets was to leverage BlackBerry’s (Waterloo, Canada) QNX Embedded business to focus on future growth opportunities in M2M.

“BlackBerry is well positioned to lead this charge as it looks to unite people and machines across the Internet of Things - from smartphones to in-vehicle telematics systems, smart appliances and much more,” said Chen, as quoted by the Economic Times.

“Everything will be connected and we would like to become a major hub of this next important technology wave.”

Chen also touted BlackBerry’s security credentials, arguing that “nothing” is more secure than its platform, and said this would be central to its future strategy.

He also plans to use the company’s cash and investment balance of about $2.7 billion to make further acquisitions and investments, following on from purchase of a minority stake in NantHealth (Culver City, CA, USA) – a healthcare IT firm.

Given that move and the recent explosion of activity in the connected cars sector, healthcare and in-vehicle services are likely to be two areas on which Chen looks to focus BlackBerry’s M2M strategy.

Chen is credited with having moved quickly to reduce costs at BlackBerry since taking over leadership of the company just a few months ago, but its future remains in doubt given its decline in the mobile device market.

In late March, the company reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the final quarter of the 2013 financial year, but saw revenues fall by as much as 64%, to $976 million.

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