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BlackBerry Unveils IoT Platform; Adds BBM to Android Wear

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With the launch of the cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform – Canadian handset maker BlackBerry Limited (BBRY - Free Report) – is aiming to leverage its wide-ranging technology portfolio. The new IoT platform blends technology from Blackberry’s QNX software system designed for connected devices with its protected network infrastructure.

With this new platform, BlackBerry seeks to provide its customers with the opportunity of structuring IoT applications in a secure, competent and scalable manner. Thereby, it has extended its top-class security and reliability to growing IoT applications. Notably, the new platform will be primarily targeting the shipping and automotive industries, followed by the energy and healthcare markets.

BBM for Android Wear

Along with the revelation of its IoT platform, BlackBerry also announced that it will launch a new version of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app, named BBM for Android Wear. With this app, BBM will now be accessible on Android-powered wearable devices, enabling users to obtain, read, and reply to messages on their smartwatch.

The BBM for Google's Android Wear platform is expected to be available in early 2015. It would entail users to have BBM installed on their Android smartphone before it begins working on their wearable device. BlackBerry believes that the addition of BBM to support wearable technology will boost its portfolio while allowing customers to easily access its cross-platform technologies.

Moreover, the annual smartwatch shipments are projected to grow over 28 million units by 2015, and reach in excess of 60 million by 2017, according to research group Canalys.

Growth Prospects    

BlackBerry expects strong cash position and hopes to generate break-even cash flow at the end of 2015. Lately, BlackBerry has been exploring several alternate business options which should help the company offset escalating losses in its smartphone business. BlackBerry, together with healthcare data supplier NantHealth, has unveiled the world’s first secure cancer genome browser on BlackBerry’s Passport smartphones for doctors and clinicians.

However, ever since Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) iPhone hit the market, BlackBerry has been facing intense competitive pressure. The situation further worsened when Google launched its Android software and several handset manufacturers readily adopted this user-friendly operating system.

Stock that Warrants a Look

BlackBerry currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering in this sector are Aruba Networks, Inc. and ViaSat Inc. (VSAT - Free Report) , both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).




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