BlackBerry Secure Work Space support now available for Apple's iOSBlackBerry on Tuesday announced the launch of Secure Work Space, a new solution built on its BlackBerry Enterprise Service and compatible with Android devices and Apple's iPhone and iPad, continuing a trend that has seen the phone maker increasing its focus on services.
The company announced the development on Tuesday, noting that the move will allow BlackBerry to ensure that clients can fully manage all of the devices they support, even if they aren't necessarily BlackBerry devices.
Mobility is fundamentally transforming how we live and work. As our dependency on mobile solutions grows, and as a greater variety of mobile devices enter the workplace, the need for solutions to manage and secure these devices has never been greater," said David J. Smith, EVP, Enterprise Mobile Computing at BlackBerry.
BlackBerry first announced Secure Work Space in March of this year. The service will give users of iPhones and other devices the ability to access data and applications behind corporate firewalls without needing to manage and configure a VPN connection. BES 10 for third-party platforms will also include secured client applications for e-mail, calendar, contacts, tasks, memos, secure browsing, and document editing.
BES 10 is increasingly popular in the enterprise sector, with more than 60 percent of U.S. Fortune 500 companies using or testing the system. BlackBerry now has 18,000 BES 10 servers in place, with a third of those going online in the last month.
The widening platform is not a totally new development for the troubled Canadian phone maker. Last year, BlackBerry launched BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a mobile device management software that supported not only handsets running BlackBerry OS, but also Google's Android and Apple's iOS.
That shift toward supporting other platforms is part of a general trend for BlackBerry, which has some 77 million BlackBerry device owners and subscribers worldwide but can no longer necessarily count on its hardware sales to support its business. Once a leader in productivity-oriented smartphones, BlackBerry (née Research In Motion) has fallen on hard times since Apple's iPhone revolutionized the sector.
BlackBerry launched a series of unsuccessful devices to compete with the iPhone, and the company lost users all along. Most recently, the phone maker launched a range of new handsets running the newest version of its operating system, BlackBerry OS 10. One of those models is said to have seen some success, but just how successful it has been won't be revealed until the company details its earnings for the most recent financial quarter.
In addition to BES 10, BlackBerry is also reaching out to put its renowned messaging service onto other platforms. The company announced back in May that BlackBerry Messenger would be coming to devices running at least iOS 6 and Android 4.0, though the service has yet to launch on either platform.