BlackBerry launches service to manage Android, Apple devices

Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:00am EDT
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* Service will allow clients to manage, secure devices

* BlackBerry targets services as devices face competition

* Company says 18,000 BES 10 servers installed globally

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, June 25 (Reuters) - BlackBerry launched a service on Tuesday allowing government agencies and corporate clients to secure and manage devices powered by Google Inc's Android platform and Apple Inc's iOS operating system.

The long-anticipated offering, which BlackBerry had said would come out around mid-year, could help the company sell high-margin services to its large clients even if many, or all, of their workers are using smartphones made by its competitors.

The new Secure Work Space feature will be managed through BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10, a new back-end system launched at the start of this year that allows BlackBerry's clients to control mobile devices on their internal networks.

The company, a one-time pioneer in the smartphone arena, is now fighting to regain ground lost to Apple's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's Galaxy devices. To compete, it has rolled out a trio of devices powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating system.

It hopes to win back users with the Z10, Q10 and Q5 devices that were unveiled during the first half of this year. The first comprehensive look at the success of its turnaround plan will likely emerge when it reports quarterly results on Friday.   Continued...