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BlackBerry partners on mobile security with Samsung

CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

BlackBerry Ltd. is partnering with rival smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co. in an agreement that will see it provide mobile security technology for the Android operating system.

Starting next year, business customers will have access to software on Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets that is linked with BlackBerry’s new mobile security software.

BlackBerry chief executive John Chen told investors at an event in San Francisco that BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 will serve as an “anchor” for a plan to roll out more software to users.

The BES12 service will allow large organizations to manage both older BlackBerrys and more recent versions of its smartphones, as well as smartphones that run software from competitors like Microsoft, Google and Apple.

READ MORE: BlackBerry fights to keep corporate customers

It will be made available through numerous carriers, including Rogers in Canada and Vodaphone in the United Kingdom.

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The partnership will combine the BES12 technology with Samsung KNOX, which is the company’s own mobile security platform.

BlackBerry is in the midst of a turnaround plan that has involved Chen scaling back the size of the company while refocusing its priorities on corporate clients, rather than the consumer market.

“Next year is about growth. We’re going to focus on growing not only the top line, we’re going to focus on growing the profit,” Chen said in his speech.

“But you’ve got to give us a little bit of time to get there.”

One of the BlackBerry’s biggest challenges has been keeping ahead of its competitors in the enterprise services market. Both Apple and Samsung have developed their own enterprise security platforms in an effort to lure a larger chunk of BlackBerry’s customer base.

Shares in the company were 4.5 per cent higher near midday Thursday, rising 57 cents to $13.33 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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