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BlackBerry plans full software assault on iOS and Android

BlackBerry’s name might not have any value in the mobile market (opens in new tab) anymore, but in the software and business sector it is still a relevant brand vying for large contracts.

In order to win over more customers and expand its software business, BlackBerry has revealed it will continue to work on cross-platform technologies and stop keeping some of the security and services on BB 10.

"This is just a very natural evolution of taking our OS, the surfaces and security layers around it and putting it on others' devices, so that our serviceable market is not only 'BlackBerry' devices, but all devices," said BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen on a conference call during Mobile World Congress.

Chen is still confident its hardware business will find a place in the mobile world, perhaps continuing to appeal to BlackBerry fans and business executives still too scared to move over to iOS and Android, but it seems Chen knows it will not be a major player again.

Offering software instead could make BlackBerry not only a viable business but a profitable one, considering software and subscriptions seem to have a high turnover profit, especially when it is in the business sector.

BlackBerry has already diversified its platforms back when it launched BBM on Android and iOS, gaining over 100 million users worldwide. The service is extremely popular in poor parts of the world, where BlackBerry seems to be a notable brand.

Android for Work was recently released in partnership with BlackBerry, showing the company can put past rivalries behind them to work on enterprise contracts with Google and others.

Still, it is a bit of a worry that BlackBerry is essentially abandoning all of its trademark software for more integration on iOS and Android. It does not have much appeal as it is, and offering all of the services on a more widely available platform might change it into a full software company.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.