BlackBerry Buys Movitru: An Attempt To Revive Smartphones? |

BlackBerry Buys Movitru: An Attempt To Revive Smartphones?

This looks like an attempt to win back the enterprise customers, who were once the backbone of company's business.


There is no big deal if Google or Facebook acquires a company, but if struggling BlackBerry does it then there must be something interesting. In a move with an aim of reviving its smartphone business, the company has acquired Movirtu, makers of multi-line phone technology.

This is a move that is aimed to winning back the enterprise customers, who were the backbone of the company until the avalanche of Android buried them.

Considering that the company has cut down its workforce by 60% in the past few years, spending money on acquisition is a big gamble. There had been indications that BlackBerry was also ready to shut down its mobile business in future. So this might be the last ditch effort to save its smartphone business.

What Is Movirtu?

The company was founded in 2008 by its CEO Carsten Brinkschulte and has 22 employees. The UK-based company received a $5.5 million funding in 2010 and currently it is backed by a number of capital funds, but from now on this will be a wholly owned subsidiary of BlackBerry.

BlackBerry’s interest in the company is due to technology of allowing a smartphone to have multiple phone numbers active while using a single SIM. Basically instead of having a smartphone with multiple SIM slots, you have different numbers on the same SIM.

Why Is Blackberry Interested?

Enterprise customers were the reason for BlackBerry’s growth in the past. Again it is the same audience that the company is looking to target. In an interview on BlackBerry blog after the acquisition BlackBerry’s Enterprise President John Sims said, "Enterprise customers will now be able to provision a single device for corporate and personal use; allow discrete enterprise policies to be applied to only the work side of the device, while allowing full usability of the personal portion of the device; split bills for voice, data and messaging; and provide the ability to switch between profiles easily."

BlackBerry is reportedly interested in the tech to enable so-called bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and corporate-owned-personally-enabled (COPE) mobility scenarios, where workers carry a single phone that has separate "personalities" for business and home use.

The Importance Of The Move…

This move comes at a time when a California Court said that the companies must reimburse employees for work related calls made from their personal phones, even if the employees have unlimited subscription plans. This might just be the start and might be extended in other jurisdiction.

BlackBerry is eyeing this scenario where it will be in position to dictate terms as the Movirtu holds the patents for its Virtual SIM Platform.


At present it looks like a well thought out move. Will it be a masterstroke or a blunder? Only time can answer it. BlackBerry’s smartphone arm surely has a lot riding on this acquisition and might one of the most important in Company’s history.

TAGS: BlackBerry, acquisition