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BlackBerry slices off juiciest bits, bottles them in 'Tech Solutions'

BBM doesn't make the cut, but does at least go GA on Windows Phone

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BlackBerry has sliced off its juiciest bits and will preserve them in a new unit called “BlackBerry Technology Solutions” (BTS) that it hopes will deliver a jolt of growth.

The new unit will be led by Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu and will gain stewardship of QNX , the IoT play Project Ion, the Certicom cryptography applications and the Paratek RF antenna tuning kit.

BlackBerry’s “extensive patent portfolio” has also been tossed into the new unit, which the company's canned statement says “will create operational synergies and new revenue streams, furthering our turnaround strategy.”

The idea is not entirely new: departed CEO Thorsten Heins often outlined a plan to use QNX and other BlackBerry assets to create products well beyond handsets.

Current executive chairman and CEO John Chen seems to have similar ideas, and has now put them into action.

One notable asset that's missed the cut is BBM. Ever since Facebook splashed US$19bn on Whatsapp, many have assumed that messaging platforms with a few tens of millions of users are acquisition-bait. If that's the case, BlackBerry has either decided it doesn't need to be a part of BTS or isn't getting any calls about the messaging app.

One small upside for BBM is its emergence from beta on Windows Phone. The app went official last Friday, giving it a chance to cash in on Microsoft's reported push into low-end Lumias in the developing world. BlackBerry already has a very strong presence in some such nations: Indonesians, for example, are mad for BBM. With a population of over 200 million and mobile phone adoption already nearing 100 per cent, BBM is clearly not entirely without prospects. ®

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