Blackberry is strengthening its security offerings. Blackberry is strengthening its security offerings. Blackberry is strengthening its security offerings. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images))

Blackberry beefs up security with WatchDox acquisition

Company aims to be the most secure platform in mobile technology.

You can now add Blackberry to the list of mobile device manufacturers with R&D centers in Israel.

The Canadian company announced recently that it has acquired security startup WatchDox, which has headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., and research and development facilities in central Israel. The deal should help strengthen Blackberry's formidable reputation as a secure mobile device. WatchDox offers security features such as encryption, digital rights management, tracking and revocation.

Blackberry becomes the final major mobile device manufacturer to have a presence in Israel. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung all have R&D centers in the country.

Blackberry has maintained a devoted following. Here, President Obama shows off his device on the South Lawn of the White House. Blackberry has maintained a devoted following. Here, President Obama shows off his device on the South Lawn of the White House. (Photo: YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Blackberry CEO John Chen told Fox Business Network that when he took over the company in 2013, he wanted to make Blackberry the most secure platform in mobile technology, and WatchDox was the "final piece" of the puzzle. "I'm very pleased that we've done it and it's a great acquisition," he said.

Blackberry was once the dominant force in mobile devices before the launch of the Apple iPhone, in 2007. In recent years, it has tried to regain a foothold in the market with value-added services. Despite the turbulence, the company has achieved a cult-like status with many mobile device users. There are websites, blogs and online forums dedicated to its every action, and vocal Blackberry devotees include Kim Kardashian and President Barack Obama.

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