BlackBerry has always placed a high priority on the needs of businesses, especially when it comes to security. All of the company’s Android phones come with the ‘DTEK’ security suite, and BlackBerry has done a pretty good job of pushing out Google‘s monthly security patches. Now, BlackBerry may be looking to license its secure version of Android to other companies.
According to a report from The Economic Times, BlackBerry is calling its version of Android “BlackBerry Secure,” and it includes all the security features currently shipping on its Android devices. The company’s Senior Vice President, Alex Thurber, said, “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.”
You may not have heard of Optiemus, but they are one of three companies licensing the BlackBerry brand to sell phones (the other two being TCL and BB Merah Putih). In addition to smartphones, BlackBerry is also looking into using BlackBerry Secure as an operating system for Internet of Things devices. Google is also looking to push Android in the IoT space, specifically with Android Things OS.
It’s not clear at this time if BlackBerry would be providing updates for every device using BlackBerry Secure, or if the licensing deals would only include the apps. We could see BlackBerry turn into a Cyanogen-like company, developing a near-stock Android ROM for other phones. Hopefully BlackBerry’s CEO will refrain from making comments about shooting Google though.