What BlackBerry Ltd’s Health-Care Smartphone Says About Its Strategy

In signing a deal with NantHealth to deliver an optimized smartphone experience, BlackBerry turns away from consumers while avoiding iOS and Android.

Apr 23, 2014 at 3:15PM

BlackBerry Ltd's (NASDAQ:BBRY) strategy to pursue niche markets where it holds an advantage may finally allow the company to flourish, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

CEO John Chen has been unambiguous in his desires to remake BlackBerry as something more than a device supplier. Specific goals include positioning the company as a go-to for "secure enterprise services." The idea? Outfit large clients with everything needed for airtight communications. The sort of infrastructure you'd expect when serving regulated markets, in other words.

Chen first articulated his vision in December. Now, four months later, BlackBerry is investing in privately held NantHealth, whose cloud-based network connects and manages medical equipment.

Reuters says the system already touches some 16,000 devices across 250 hospitals. As a next step, BlackBerry and NantHealth plan to create a smartphone imbued with tech for better viewing of 3D images and CT scans. Tim says it's a smart deal that plays to BlackBerry's historic strength.

Yet, investors should also understand the cost. In pursuing relevant enterprise niches. BlackBerry is slowly (and reluctantly) turning away from the massive consumer market that had been its bread and butter before sustained incursions from iOS and Android devices made it difficult to compete.

Now, it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe in BlackBerry's strategy? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short BlackBerry stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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