Blackberry’s growth in-regards to connected car is probably one of the best-kept secrets in mobile. Few people know about Blackberry’s QNX business, and even fewer know about how dominant they have been in the infotainment technologies used in automobiles. The growth is substantial and has breathed new life into a company that many have left for dead in their minds.
Blackberry’s resurgence has been tongue-in-cheek for many, more a whimsical cocktail conversation than a serious notion of bringing them back on top of the mobile world. But within the car industry, their resurgence in the connected car ecosystem leaves them nowhere but to be taken seriously. Blackberry’s last earnings report shows that their growth through their QNX business is no joke and leaves the most hope in the company’s future in the hands of a small division called QNX which they acquired on a whim back in 2010.
Did Blackberry’s management have that much foresight of the potential of QNX or did they get lucky, it was probably a little of both. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky in business than good. They are now expanding the success of the infotainment technology business into other areas of the connected car like Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and instrument cluster technologies. In short, this expansion has been taking place for a while, but the kind of growth Blackberry QNX is seeing now has squarely put them back in the drivers’ seat (excuse the pun) in the connected car. Blackberry is seeing 29% year over year growth in-regards to this division and that is real dollars for a company that once struggled to find their second act. Many challenges lay ahead for Blackberry, but in their QNX technology, they have found a uniquely positioned advantage in the way they have structured the system kernel into smaller tasks which can be turned on or off without doing it from the macro operating system.
The QNX Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) was created to provide customers with the ability to create highly optimized and reliable systems while keeping their cost of ownership more affordable, with a heavy focus on security. This focus on security goes back to Blackberry’s roots as a company, always highly secure systems; which is obviously a huge-advantages when someone is trying to hack your smart car and drive you into a guardrail.
As technologies expand into frontiers that we never imagined and taking control of areas of our lives we would never have considered as little as five years ago. Security of those systems and solutions become that much more important and top of mind. The systems and technology also lend itself and enables the company into a more lucrative licensing model of their software that developers can develop on top of; making bigger and better-bundled technology solutions that provide consumer managed services that they desire in their vehicles. These service revenues are becoming a bigger part of many companies bottom lines and you can see the transition to these types of business models across many vertical markets today — the connected car being just one of those. Compiled services being offered through a central choke point, in this case, the car manufacturer, allows these groups to reinvent their business models and future-proof their companies as technologies develop and change rapidly.
Blackberry seems back on the road to success and out of the ditch of despair. It didn’t happen overnight, but they have kept it quit and thus why a lot of the mobile community is waking up to the potential of this old faithful partners second act. Who knows, maybe they will add a QUERTY keyboard somewhere in the mix, and we can all take a trip down memory lane. The worst case scenario is QNX will continue its growth in the connected car thus enabling all kinds of innovative and secure services to an area that many of us spend more than four hours a day, our car. Thus, breaking the mundanity of the daily commute and allowing people to be more productive while they are on the road, leading to the future tech of totally autonomous vehicles that won’t need to be steered or navigated. At that point, the services and breadth of services that will be offered in the car will expand significantly. Blackberry QNX find themselves in a good spot, which is the tip of the spear in a quickly growing vertical.
So if you find yourself commuting between Los Angeles and Orange County and you are about to pull your hair out as you sit in two hours of traffic, turn on the radio, listen to a podcast, find a nearby gas station or restaurant, watch a streaming movie, or surf the web through your onboard WIFI. And know you deserve it because Blackberry loves you — but they love their new revenue growth even more!
The post Best kept secret in wireless – Blackberry QNX in the autonomous car (Reality Check) appeared first on RCR Wireless News.