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Boeing will compete with Blackberry in offering secure handset

http://www.minyanville.com/articles/print.php?a=53943

Boeing Now Makes Its Own Android-Running, Data-Self-Destructing Phone
By JOSH WOLONICK FEB 27, 2014 3:30 PM
The smartphone will also have the ability to encrypt calls.


If I were to ask you, "What does Boeing (NYSE:BA) manufacture?", the odds are heavily stacked in favor of you answering, "Airplanes!" You would, of course, be right. However, the company, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), is now also manufacturing a smartphone called the Boeing Black, which will operate with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.

According to Boeing, "The Boeing Black smartphone was designed with security and modularity in mind to ensure our customers can use the same smartphone across a range of missions and configurations." Along with modifications available via an expansion port on the back of the phone, as well as the ability to securely encrypt all calls, the Boeing Black has one security function that is straight out of Mission Impossible: a self-destruct function.
As Boeing's filing with the FCC reads:
"The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof [sic] covering to identify attempted disassembly. Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable."
So, if the phone is tampered with physically, its software and data will self-destruct. However, it is unclear whether or not the function will work without physical tampering as well (say, the phone fell into the wrong hands but no attempt was made to physically open it).

No price or release date has been announced for the phone, and as Gigaom reported, it will likely only be available to employees of US intelligence agencies.
rogerwilco Wrote:Boeing will compete with Blackberry in offering secure handset http://www.minyanville.com/articles/print.php?a=53943 Boeing Now Makes Its Own Android-Running, Data-Self-Destructing Phone By JOSH WOLONICK FEB 27, 2014 3:30 PM The smartphone will also have the ability to encrypt calls. If I were to ask you, "What does Boeing (NYSE:BA) manufacture?", the odds are heavily stacked in favor of you answering, "Airplanes!" You would, of course, be right. However, the company, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), is now also manufacturing a smartphone called the Boeing Black, which will operate with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. According to Boeing, "The Boeing Black smartphone was designed with security and modularity in mind to ensure our customers can use the same smartphone across a range of missions and configurations." Along with modifications available via an expansion port on the back of the phone, as well as the ability to securely encrypt all calls, the Boeing Black has one security function that is straight out of Mission Impossible: a self-destruct function. As Boeing's filing with the FCC reads: "The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof [sic] covering to identify attempted disassembly. Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable." So, if the phone is tampered with physically, its software and data will self-destruct. However, it is unclear whether or not the function will work without physical tampering as well (say, the phone fell into the wrong hands but no attempt was made to physically open it). No price or release date has been announced for the phone, and as Gigaom reported, it will likely only be available to employees of US intelligence agencies.

Could have bought bbry over for $8bn (half of what fb offered for whatsapp)
http://n4bb.com/apple-carplay-infotainme...errys-qnx/

Apple CarPlay Infotainment System Runs on BlackBerry’s QNX
Newsby Lucas Atkins - Mar 3, 2014

Apple has announced their “iOS in a car” initiative dubbed CarPlay. Apple said today that Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will unveil vehicles with the CarPlay infotainment system this week at the Geneva Auto Show.

Other auto manufacturers are lining up to include Apple CarPlay in future vehicles. Some of these auto manufacturers include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

Apple’s CarPlay will require an iPhone for usage. The CarPlay system is primarily accessed by use of Siri, which will give you access to notifications and voice command-driven calls and messaging, as well as iTunes, podcasts, third-party streaming services and so on.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

The CarPlay system would seem to be QNX CAR 2′s soon-to-be biggest rival in the infotainment system industry. Interestingly, the CarPlay system may actually run on top of QNX. You might have been aware that the QNX website lists Apple as a QNX strategic partner in automotive.

Yes, you read that correctly. Apple is a strategic partner for QNX in automotive. Could Apple be utilizing the power of QNX to operate the CarPlay infotainment system? We’ve reached out to BlackBerry and QNX to determine if CarPlay is using QNX and will update this post accordingly.

What implications do you think Apple’s CarPlay could have on the continued success of the QNX CAR 2 infotainment with auto manufacturers?

*UPDATE* – We reached out to Paul Leroux at QNX and he has confirmed our presumption:

“Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems’ platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles. We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.”
I wonder how much more upside there is for bbry's QNX licensing.... And given QNX is already on most vehicle, i do not know if we can see real gains unless BBRY sells QNX and realise a profit.
An article on QNX

==============

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/04/05/t...-your-car/

Have a fancy navigation system? It’s probably running software built by QNX, a little-known but powerful Canadian company.

By Kurt Wagner, reporter



FORTUNE — Under the bright lights of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, a stunning black Bentley sat with the top down on the showroom floor. The Bentley — a Continental GTC convertible starting at $191,000 — became the center of attention throughout most of the week as thousands of geeks filed through the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall. But it was not for its curvaceous sheet metal that attracted them but its futuristic dashboard inside. Developed by Ottawa-based software company QNX, this dashboard boasted 3-D maps and reverse cameras, pre-touch technology that kicks the massive 17-inch screen to life as a hand approaches, and even, per Bentley’s request: video conferencing (only functional when the car is in park, of course).

For more than a decade, QNX — the same QNX that makes BlackBerry’s (BBRY) new mobile operating system known as BlackBerry 10 – has developed software specifically tailored toward the auto industry. Ask analysts what reputation QNX carries, and you’ll get phrases like “rock solid” or “a solution for things that can’t crash,” fitting considering the potential consequences of a computer failure while traveling at freeway speeds. (In a 2003 interview, one QNX customer jokingly told Fortune, “The only way to make this software malfunction is to fire a bullet into the computer running it.”) QNX has wielded this reputation to carve out an early hold on the so-called infotainment market share, shipping more than 9 million units in 2011, over 60% of all such units sold, according to Derek Kuhn, vice president of sales and marketing. Audi, Toyota ™, BMW, Porsche, Honda (HMC), Land Rover — QNX has been in them all, and Kuhn estimates QNX software currently operates in “tens of millions” of cars around the globe. An automotive industry report from IHS pegs infotainment revenues at $6.7 billion for 2013.

MORE: 4 lessons for Apple in the Facebook phone

Connected devices, from refrigerators to washing machines, have stemmed from better technology and a consumer-base eager to build on the “always connected” smartphone experience. Connected cars – think built-in GPS, blue-tooth, and Wi-Fi — may just be the most practical of the bunch, says Andy Gryc, QNX’s automotive product marketing manager. Long commutes, coupled with a need for hands-free cell use and GPS, make the car prime real estate for hosting an infotainment unit. “The automobile,” explains Gartner analyst Thilo Koslowski, “is the ultimate mobile device.” Better technology and heightened user expectations are driving automakers to incorporate infotainment units — essentially touchscreen dashboards — into their standard models, too. By 2020 some 80% of new vehicles are expected to have built-in infotainment units, up from just 40% currently, predicts Koslowski.

The significant role QNX may soon play in the auto industry would have been hard to predict at the time of the company’s founding in 1980. For starters, co-founders Dan Dodge and Gordon Bell barely survived financially, a task made all the more difficult considering they didn’t take venture capital funding. The duo routinely worked 20-hour days, and CEO Dodge, 58, was supported by his working wife; Bell, the COO who retired in 2004, lived with his parents during the company’s early days in order to save money. QNX was originally designed for use in PCs, but as its operating system evolved in the late ‘90s, the software’s flexibility slowly transitioned the company’s focus toward other opportunities. This unintentional shift and successful deployment in so many industrial and consumer products helped differentiate QNX from other PC companies of the time like Microsoft (MSFT) and IBM (IBM). Nuclear power plants, hospitals, and casinos are just a few of the areas QNX software can be found. In 2009, QNX software was part of a Switzerland-based effort known as Solar Impulse that created a solar-powered airplane.

MORE: How Facebook Home works

As the company evolved, so too did its value. In 2004, Harman International, a manufacturer of audio and infotainment equipment, purchased QNX, shopping it again less than six years later to mobile phone manufacturer Research in Motion (now BlackBerry). BlackBerry purchased the software company for $200 million in an attempt to recharge the brand’s ailing smartphone lineup. QNX won’t divulge revenues, but “software and other revenue” made up just 3% of the company’s $18.5 billion in total revenues in fiscal 2012. Of course, QNX is not billed as a cash cow for the phone manufacturer — its value lies in the BlackBerry 10 OS it provides for the company’s latest phones and tablets. BlackBerry surprised analysts last month by posting profits of $94 million in the fourth quarter. The company also shipped one million new Z10 smartphones boasting the BlackBerry 10 OS.

Despite early success, it’s too soon to tell what kind of long-term impact QNX will have on BlackBerry smartphone and tablet sales. The field is of course dominated by devices running Google (GOOG) Android and Apple (AAPL) iOS systems, leaving a once dominant BlackBerry device fighting for its life. BlackBerry 10 was only unveiled in January, and BlackBerry’s newest phone, BlackBerry Z10, has yet to reach the U.S. market. On the auto front, QNX appears to have a much firmer grasp of the market, although other players, including Microsoft which is working with Ford (F) on its Sync system, are certain to offer a challenge. Other major operating systems like iOS and Android may not be far behind, predicts Koslowski.

For now, QNX is simply looking to innovate. Some of the more sophisticated mapping technology is already available to consumers, and QNX engineers are planning out our dashboards years into the future. With specific details under wraps, Kuhn will only offer up a tease: “Some of what we are working on right now for the 2017 model year,” he says, “is even blowing our minds.” Just enough to lure you in.
(04-03-2014, 07:51 PM)orangetea Wrote: [ -> ]I wonder how much more upside there is for bbry's QNX licensing.... And given QNX is already on most vehicle, i do not know if we can see real gains unless BBRY sells QNX and realise a profit.

Selling QNX division, like selling BBM division, is a possibility however I think it would be more interesting (and certainly challenging) if Blackberry can expand QNX into other vertical market besides automotive and becomes more dominant OS in the machine to machine market (aka Internet of Things).

Reading the transcript for last quarterly call, I think that's what current management is trying to do.

Quote:From the transcript

The four units are, as you’ve seen it, handset device units, enterprise software and services, the BBM, the BlackBerry Messenger unit, and the QNX, the embedded, I would call it, machine-to-machine business unit. Again, this lineup, we’re focusing on execution and operation excellence. We’re making some major changes in leadership.

...

Let’s go to QNX, which is probably one of the crown jewels. Every time I come here, our partners call me, and customers call me, they really really want to work with us on QNX. It is an embedded technology, a microkernel technology. Most of you know. We dominate the automotive industries, at 40 OEMs and in all kinds of types of platforms in cars. In fact, we’re going to showcase one at the CES show, January 6 to 9, I believe, in Las Vegas. So if you happen to be there, please stop by our booth to take a look at our new technology there.

The plan is to invest in this and grow. The plan is to grow by other verticals, because we are doing very well in the automotive vertical. We’re going to continue to focus on that, but we’re going to start looking in adjacent verticals to expand the business. In addition to that, we’re going to build a platform that is cloud-based, that is going to be machine-to-machine based architecture.

And again, I think if anybody has been following all things Internet, if you think about that or all things mobile that is going to be the next frontier, the M2M. And the good news about BlackBerry is we already are in that space, and we’re working on that, and we have the basic technology for it. This microkernel is extremely strong. And if anybody wants to talk about that, I’d be more than happy to engage in that conversation.
rogerwilco Wrote:Selling QNX division, like selling BBM division, is a possibility however I think it would be more interesting (and certainly challenging) if Blackberry can expand QNX into other vertical market besides automotive and becomes more dominant OS in the machine to machine market (aka Internet of Things). Reading [URL="http://seekingalpha.com/article/1909681-blackberrys-ceo-discusses-f3q-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript"]the transcript for last quarterly call[/URL], I think that's what current management is trying to do.


Good stuff.
Organic growth is always better.
BlackBerry CEO Chases BBM, Server Growth as Stock Surges
By Hugo Miller and Cornelius Rahn
March 06, 2014 10:25 AM EST

BlackBerry Ltd. Chief Executive Officer John Chen has surprised skeptics and pleased investors by cutting costs and fueling a 56 percent surge in the smartphone maker’s stock.

Now he says his next priorities are ending losses in the hardware division and expanding instant messaging as he tries to turn around a company with falling sales and dwindling market share.

“I’ve got to get the devices business profitable, I’ve got to get the server business growing again, I’ve got to get BBM scaling,” Chen, 58, said last week in an interview during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “I have my hands full with a number of things to do.”

Not that he hasn’t been busy so far. Since being named CEO in November, Chen has reached an agreement with Foxconn Technology Group (2354) to outsource smartphone production and shored up cash by deciding to sell much of BlackBerry’s Canadian real estate. He’s also won over skeptical shareholders in part with his candid assessment about what needs to be fixed at Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry.

“He’s done quite an impressive job, better than expected coming in, providing clear guidance in terms of direction of the company and taking action immediately,” said Philip Petursson, managing director at Manulife Asset Management. The Toronto-based firm oversees $263 billion in assets including BlackBerry shares. “It’s been well received in the marketplace, and that’s reflected in the stock price.”

‘Extreme Negative’
Chen inherited a company that had been losing market share to rivals led by Apple Inc. (AAPL) for years and whose stock had tumbled more than 90 percent from its 2008 peak -- including on the day he was named CEO, when the company announced that an attempted $4.7 billion buyout had collapsed.

Since then, the shares have climbed 56 percent, giving BlackBerry a market value of $5.3 billion yesterday. That’s one of the best performances among new CEOs in the Nasdaq Composite Index. The average gain during the first four months on the job was 12 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, based on a list of executive start dates in the last five years provided by Equilar, an executive compensation and corporate governance data company.

“There was quite a bit of an extreme negative view on BlackBerry, and now we were able to lay out a plan and show some execution,” Chen said in a follow-up conversation this week.

Stop Bleeding
Much remains to be done, said Walter Todd, who oversees about $950 million at Greenwood Capital Associates LLC in Greenwood, South Carolina. The recent surge doesn’t mean that BlackBerry is in the clear just yet because the shares were already so low, he said.

“Can you stop the bleeding, can you keep things from getting worse? Sure,” Todd said. What Chen needs to prove is that BlackBerry can grow again, he said.

“If he can show that he’s stabilized the business, then that that would open the door for” BlackBerry to become a takeover target again, Todd said.

Chen says that while he has no current plans to put BlackBerry back on the block, he won’t rule out eventually selling the instant-messaging business.

Chen honed his turnaround skills at software maker Sybase Inc. before selling it to SAP AG (SAP) for $5.8 billion. Long before that, as a high-school student in Hong Kong, he got his first taste of strategy playing in bridge club tournaments.

“It’s really not about how good a hand you’ve been dealt,” he said. “It’s about how you do the best with the hand you have. It’s an interesting parallel with life, and it’s an interesting parallel with work for sure.”

Hong Kong
Raised in Hong Kong after his family fled the Communist takeover of mainland China, he left the former British colony in his last year of high school to come to the U.S and enroll at Northfield Mount Hermon, a boarding school in Massachusetts.

“It was a complete foreign language, foreign culture,” he recalls. “I loved the change.”
Chen stayed on the East Coast to do a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Brown University before completing a master’s degree at the California Institute of Technology. His first job after graduating was as a design engineer at Unisys Corp. Stints at Pyramid Technology Corp. and Siemens AG followed before he joined Sybase.

In one of his earliest moves as CEO of BlackBerry, Chen announced a deal for Foxconn to help design, produce and distribute new BlackBerrys over the next five years. The deal lets BlackBerry share inventory risk with Foxconn in exchange for a bigger chunk of the profit on each phone sold.
Foxconn Deal
Even though the Foxconn agreement was announced early on the morning of Dec. 20, some investors didn’t appreciate its significance until Chen spelled it out during his first earnings call, said Eric Jackson, president of Toronto-based hedge fund Ironfire Capital.

“From the moment he started talking, the stock began climbing,” Jackson said. Jackson said he’s now building a long position in the stock, having shorted it in the past. Bets against BlackBerry reached a one-year low last month, according to financial-information provider Markit.

Unsold inventory had been one of BlackBerry’s biggest problems, saddling the company with more than $5 billion of charges in two quarters, tied primarily to the Z10 touchscreen model that flopped with consumers last year.
The fact that the sub-$200 Z3 that goes on sale in Indonesia in April was developed in just three to four months is a testament to the partnership with Foxconn, Chen said.

‘Enough Cash’
The next step was shoring up cash to help fund a recovery. Chen reiterated this week that BlackBerry should stop losing cash by the end of the fiscal year that concludes in March 2015 and that it will start making money sometime in the following fiscal year.

“I feel comfortable we have enough cash lined up to engineer this turnaround,” Chen said.
Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH), BlackBerry’s biggest investor and leader of the failed buyout attempt, instead spearheaded a $1.25 billion cash injection. Then, Chen announced a plan in January to sell most of the company’s Canadian real estate, which could raise as much as C$550 million ($500 million).
“John has acted quickly and decisively,” Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa said in an e-mail. “John is a tremendous asset to BlackBerry and he has only just started.”

While BlackBerry’s market value is a far cry from its heyday in 2008 at almost $82 billion, Chen has managed to drum up some shareholder optimism that has been largely missing since Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. began wiping out its smartphone dominance. As recently as late 2010, BlackBerry claimed 19 percent of the global smartphone market, according to IDC. By December of last year, it had slipped to 0.6 percent.

WhatsApp Purchase
Chen is also getting help as technology industry dealmaking underscores the value of BlackBerry’s BBM business. Facebook Inc.’s $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp Inc. put the spotlight on BlackBerry Messenger, spurring investors to reassess the value of the rival instant-messaging service.
To aid his turnaround plan, Chen has brought in familiar faces from SAP and Sybase for key executive positions. Chen adheres to what he calls a “one-third” strategy: hiring that fraction from among those he’s worked with at previous companies, promoting another third from the company he’s working at, and a final third that are neither.

“You rely on the people you trust and who trust you,” Chen said. “There’s also the people that have seen what has gone wrong, who know why everything happened. Then you need another group of people that can give you new ideas and second guess you a little bit.”

‘Broken Company’
Mitchell Kertzman, who brought Chen to Sybase in 1997, promoted him to be his co-CEO in February 1998. The Dublin, California-based company had just announced a $70 million restructuring and the firing of 10 percent of its workforce.

Chen, who became lone CEO in September 1998, slashed costs and returned the company to profitability the following year, morphing the database provider into one of the pioneers of mobile enterprise software.

“Customers had lost confidence in the company, in the technology,” Kertzman said. “There were big challenges there, so it was not dissimilar from BlackBerry in a sense that it was a pretty broken company.”

Financial Stability
There were differences too, Chen says. While Sybase’s technology had fallen behind competitors’, its customer base was relatively faithful, he said. While BlackBerry had new technology with the BlackBerry 10 operating system, the customer base had fallen off. It took only 12 months to make Sybase profitable. Yet, returning the company to growth took longer to achieve, he said.

With BlackBerry, “I see us taking a slightly longer route to get to financial stability, or at least the financial stability I like, and then growth might be a little faster than my past experience,” he said.
SAP bought Sybase in 2010 for more than six times its value when Chen took over in 1998. SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott recalled testing out SAP’s customer management software on an iPad using the Sybase mobile platform and being immediately impressed.

“I called up John and said ’John, sometimes dating is the right way to go, and sometimes you gotta get married. We are at one of those moments, my friend,’” McDermott said in a recent e-mail exchange. “We had a deal in principle 16 days later.”

At BlackBerry, Chen’s design philosophy is more comfort-food than wow-factor. The new Q20 phone -- Chen calls it “the Classic” -- brings back buttons and other features that loyalists complained were missing from models introduced last year.

“John understands how to keep the main thing the main thing,” McDermott said. “I have no doubt he will instill that clarity of purpose at BlackBerry.”
Catalysts for bbry.... Phone privacy
John Chen is bridging the old and new worlds of BlackBerry by developing a UI that both groups enjoy

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that he likes the company’s old name Research In Motion “a lot better.” Chen’s predecessor Thorsten Heins changed that name to BlackBerry last year to bolster the brand. Don’t worry, Chen isn’t going to switch to the old name. He said he has never given a moment of thought to changing names.

BlackBerry CEO holds talks with the White House

Chen confirmed that he held talks with the White House to make sure that President Obama and other members continue to use their BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) devices. Since being named as CEO of the Canadian company in November last year, he has talked to or met over 100 clients. The U.S. government issues BlackBerrys to White House staff members.

John Chen is trying to boost BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s user base in government and businesses. They rely on the company’s sophisticated encryption technology. He reduced the company’s risk of unsold inventory by joining hands with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Co., Ltd. (TPE:2354) to design, produce and distribute BlackBerry devices. Last month, BlackBerry launched two new devices at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Z3 is a sub-$200 device that will be released in Indonesia next month. The Q20 will hit the markets in September or October. Chen calls Q20 the Classis because it brings back the keypad dropped from recent devices.

Chen focused on growing BlackBerry’s server business

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO added that he is trying to bridge the two worlds of old and new BlackBerrys. He said the company is working on a user interface that has modern technology, but that the old user base is fully comfortable with it. BlackBerry shares have surged more than 55% since he took the helm. Chen’s other priorities include bringing the server business back to growth, and expanding the BBM business. Recently, he also introduced a more secure version of BBM.

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) stock rose 0.40% to $10.08 at 10:16 AM EST.
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