BlackBerry is connected car market leader

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 27, 2014 08:47 AM EDT

BlackBerry Ltd may be doing very poorly in the global smartphone market pummeled by Apple Inc and Google Inc but it still dominates in the connected car market, Bloomberg News reported.

Ford Motor Co, Porsche, BMW and other carmakers are now relying on the QNX operating system of BlackBerry for their vehicles' communication, mapping and entertainment systems. QNX is the operating system used in BlackBerry 10 phones.

Minnetonka, Minnesota-based HIS Automotive Analyst Mark Boyadjis told Bloomberg News, "QNX is one of the more, if not the most valuable, assets in the company right now."

As its smartphone sales continue on a downward spiral, BlackBerry is seeking a much bigger share in the market of connected car. QNX comprises about 2% of the sales of the Waterloo, Ontario-based firm. However, it is set to face even more competition as Apple and Google are also seeking to get their share in the market that is set to reach $53 billion in four years, the report said.

BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen said in a phone interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, "All of a sudden, with the industry's move on connected cars and the 'Internet of Things' and machine-to-machine and Big Data, it seems to be all colliding and helping us in where we position ourselves. Now our job is to continue to lead in that space and also branch out to other verticals."

Since taking over the helm in November, Chen indicated his plans of turning BlackBerry to a service provider, putting less focus on consumer smartphones and more on devices for enterprise customers and software. It inked a deal with Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to outsource the design and production of smartphones, the report said.

This has apparently resonated well with investors as BlackBerry stock has risen 23% this year. However, this is still nearly a 95% decline from the company's glory days in 2008, the report said.

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