BlackBerry doesn’t make its own smartphones anymore. Instead the company licenses its intellectual property to companies including TCL and Optiemus who build and sell phones like the BlackBerry KeyOne and DTEK60.
Now it looks like BlackBerry may be planning a similar move for smartwatches. Maybe.
Timex and BlackBerry announced a patent license agreement this week, but it’s not entirely clear at this point what that means.
On the one hand, it’s not hard to imagine Timex and BlackBerry working together on a smartwatch that leverages BlackBerry’s software and services including BlackBerry’s contact, calendar, and messenger features. BlackBerry also has a reputation for making enterprise-friendly business features, which could help differentiate a Timex/BlackBerry watch from the competition (although it’s unclear if such a device would actually be more secure or if the difference would primarily be in the from of branding and reputation).
But it’s also possible that this is just about licensing patents and not the brand name or software.
BlackBerry owns 40,000 patents, and it’s possible that Timex wants to release a watch with features that would be covered by one or more of those patents. Paying a royalty fee to BlackBerry would allow the company to do that without running the risk of legal action.
Timex currently has a line of devices it calls smartwatches. But they’re basically just analog watches with fitness tracking features including the ability to sync with your smartphone.
via Phone Arena