BlackBerry's post-phone future includes IoT security

Or, what you do when phones are no longer the heart of your business.

BlackBerry hasn't been shy about shifting its focus away from hardware and toward technologies you can find inside others' devices, such as self-driving cars and secure comms. If you need any further proof, though, you just got it: BlackBerry has struck a deal with Swiss electronics maker Punkt to secure an upcoming range of Internet of Things devices. In theory, the embedded security tech will ensure they can connect to your home or office network without creating glaring vulnerabilities. Details of the devices themselves weren't mentioned, but it's safe to presume they'll be more advanced than the power accessories and cordless phones that represent Punkt's current lineup.

In many ways, this represents the future for BlackBerry. It's still technically involved in the smartphone business, but only on the software and licensing side -- and while the sales are relatively healthy, they're a far cry from the days when BlackBerry was a dominant force. As long as that's the case, the real money will reside in services and security deals like this. Don't be shocked if deals like this Punkt agreement become a regular occurrence.