BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) may have lost most of its former cachet, but the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is betting their new product line can find a profitable place underneath Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung in the smartphone world, centered around security and connectivity. Speaking on CNBC today, Jon Fortt described one of those key connectivity features making its debut in BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s newly released Passport smartphone.
“A BlackBerry key feature is called BlackBerry Blend. It allows this phone to be accessed through a PC or through a tablet; even an iOS. BlackBerry’s pushing an app to Apple’s app store that will allow you to deal with BlackBerry Messenger, the context, the pictures, the calendar items, on this phone. It’s a very interesting play. It’s secure in the sense that those things don’t live on the Cloud, they live on the device, and you can still access them through the internet,” Fortt said.
In addition to that, Fortt also mentioned the addition of the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) App Store to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) devices, a partnership which was announced earlier this year, and helps bring some much needed app content to the Passport and future BlackBerry phones. BlackBerry users will now have access not only to BlackBerry 10 apps, but also a huge selection of Android 4.4 apps as a result. And like with their Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will be giving BlackBerry users a paid app for free each day.
Still, as was reported in the Wall Street Journal’s review of the new Passport, several key apps are missing despite the inclusion of two app stores, including Instagram, Uber, and Snapchat, while other apps were deemed uglier and slower, including those of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), and Yelp.
Still, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s Passport and upcoming new smartphones are not trying to compete head-on with the most apps, the most powerful hardware, or the most stylish designs. They are focused on providing a secure and connected platform, particularly for business enterprises, and believe they can return to profitability on the strength of that commitment.