BlackBerry software to come to rival handsets

BLACKBERRY is set to start licensing its security and management software to companies using iPhones and Android handsets, the firm announced yesterday, as it aims to expand further into software as sales of its own smartphones struggle.

The Canadian company’s business software has historically been the most trusted among corporates, but firms have increasingly been supplying staff with other devices, or encouraging them to use their own handsets to access work documents.

BlackBerry has lost corporate clients after repeated delays to its BlackBerry 10 software, which was eventually released in January.

However, response to the company’s new handsets has been muffled, and chief executive Thorsten Heins has repeatedly talked about exporting its software onto rival platforms.

Last month, Heins announced plans to bring its BlackBerry Messenger service – once one of the most popular features of the company’s phones – to iPhone and Android, and bringing its corporate software to rival platforms is a similar move.

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, a new system that allows corporations and governments to securely transfer information to smartphones, will be launched later on in the summer.

BlackBerry’s quarterly results, released on Friday, will reveal how the firm’s new devices have fared in the months since their release.

The company’s shares rose slightly yesterday as analysts upped their sales forecasts.

Microsoft has pulled off a similar move to BlackBerry, saying it will allow some of its most popular video games, such as the Age of Empires series, to be exported to the iPhone and Android devices.