If You Own a Connected Car, BlackBerry Wants to Have an App For That
I’m not sure why BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) got caught up in the meme stock trade. It certainly shouldn’t have been because people were waxing nostalgic for their old Blackberry devices (although I know many people who do). However whatever the motivation for bidding up BB stock, this appears to be one time the retail investors got it right. Even if it was as much an accident as BlackBerry’s signature device.
It’s true. Blackberry’s emergence as a mobile device icon was a happy accident.
The company has always been, at its core, a software company. But hey, why fight what’s working? And the company enjoyed quite a run until the iPhone came along to quickly take BlackBerry’s market share.
The company toiled in relative obscurity for the past six or seven years. But it appears to be coming back into the market with a renewed focus on cybersecurity and tracking. In fact, many BlackBerry addicts remember the safety and security of those devices.
Up until the last two years, the company has had a problem getting major clients to come on board. That was changing in 2019, but took a major step forward in December when the company announced a partnership with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that may have the company creating common applications for connected vehicles.
Taking a Stake in Our Connected Future
One of the more intriguing platforms that is propelling BlackBerry forward is its Intelligent Vehicle Data Platform, IVY.
According to the company, “BlackBerry IVY is a scalable, cloud-connected software platform that will allow automakers to provide a consistent and secure way to read vehicle sensor data, normalize it, and create actionable insights from that data both locally in the vehicle and in the cloud.”
One of the challenges for app developers is finding a way to create in-vehicle Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that work for all brands of connected vehicles. However as you might expect, vehicles have different architectures with different sensors. That’s where IVY comes in.
Larry Ramer wrote an article in which John Wall, the co-head of BlackBerry Technology Solutions described the role that BlackBerry is playing. According to Wall, IVY translates the disparate data across all platforms and converts it into information that can be used to make decisions. And more importantly, it can create another revenue stream for automakers.
Cybersecurity Could Be Another Catalyst
In addition to its partnership with Amazon, BlackBerry scored a key partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for its Microsoft Teams platform.
I’m not sure that BlackBerry is the first name that investors think about when it comes to cybersecurity, but the company is a respected voice in the sector. In February, the company released its annual cybersecurity threat report. In it, the company pointed out that cybercrime is on the rise since the pandemic began.
As BlackBerry noted, many businesses were caught unprepared by the pandemic. Many had to revamp, or in some cases create, their digital operations very quickly.
In doing so, attackers were able to take advantage of overlooked areas. This left employees and customers vulnerable to online threats. Some of these areas included mobile technology, insufficiently protected email and overexposure of information on social media.
Don’t Let BB Stock Get Ahead of the Story
In the aftermath of BB stock being caught up in the Reddit trade, Matt McCall advised InvestorPlace readers that caution was warranted. I don’t disagree with McCall’s overall point.
BlackBerry has a signed contract, but that’s not the same as delivering revenue. One of the key markets for the IVY platform could be autonomous vehicles. That market is years away from coming to fruition, however.
Nevertheless, I find BB stock far more appealing as it moves back down to penny stock territory. For me, the bottom line is to let BlackBerry prove it to you.
On the date of publication, Chris Markoch did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Chris Markoch is a freelance financial copywriter who has been covering the market for seven years. He has been writing for Investor Place since 2019.