John Chen was interviewed on stage Thursday at the Code/Mobile conference held by Silicon Valley tech news publisher, Re/Code. You might’ve read some of the media coverage, which focused on a narrow slice of his remarks.
Chen actually shared a lot more: his thoughts about the coming PRIV phone’s security credentials and target market, our enterprise security strategy, the fate of the BlackBerry 10 OS, and the state of connected cars today (which is dominated on a platform level by BlackBerry’s QNX division).
Here are some of the highlights.
Handset strategy: “I love BB10 and I win in the very high-end there. But the very high-end is not big. In order to make money in the handset business, I need to expand that pie.”
Android market: “Android in the enterprise is a very under-served space…We wanted to bring the BlackBerry know-how in security — the whole stack — to Android.”
PRIV’s security strengths: “We’ve created a patching mechanism that will address attacks a lot quicker than other (vendors) to protect the customer…we inject a PIN in every chip in every phone – we are the only Android maker to do that. We work with Google…we think we’ll be more resilient than anyone else.”
PRIV’s target customers: “The audience goes beyond enterprises. But it will be focused on high-end privacy and productivity.”
PRIV’s availability: “Later this year. We’re working with carriers now.”
On updates to the BlackBerry 10 OS: “We have two new releases of BB10 coming out to support government and high-security customers.”
On security as a business focus: “We think we can be a standout by providing security to handsets even if we don’t make them…We’ve been doing very well increasing Android customers on our BES12 platform.”
The actual state of connected cars today: “Cars right now have connectibility built-in, but they’re not really connected. We’re focusing on how they can get connected in a secure way.”