BlackBerry makes rebound with it’s a health care services platform


John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry

After years of bad news for BlackBerry, things are finally looking up for the Canadian phone maker.

Better than expected earnings results kicked off a month-long rally for BlackBerry, which is now up more than 45% from early June. The latest spike came on Monday morning, as BlackBerry shares surged about 6% on news from halfway around the world.

A report from the Economic Times in Bangalore revealed BlackBerry’s latest product isn’t a smartphone — it’s a health care services platform. BlackBerry, having bought a minority stake in health tech firm NantHealth in April, will work with the company to launch a platform to connect medical devices at Indian hospitals.

The new push into health care comes as once-dominant BlackBerry has become an afterthought in the global smartphone wars between Samsung and Apple AAPL +1.25%. Moving into health-connected devices (one element of the nascent “Internet of Things” market) offers growth from business clients instead of consumers.

BBRY Chart

BlackBerry and NantHealth’s new platform is based on the QNX software technology behind BlackBerry’s latest operating systems. QNX already commands a large share of the car infotainment system market, where it powers over 200 models.

Last month, after drastically cutting costs, BlackBerry’s new CEO John Chen actually touted a profit of $23 million ($0.04 per share) due to some accounting adjustments. Sales are still way down from a year ago, at $966 million compared to over $3 billion in the same period in 2013. But the sharp declines have been stemmed for the moment — sales only fell $10 million from the previous quarter.