BlackBerry delivered quarterly results on Friday that beat Wall Street expectations.
The Canadian tech company posted a third-quarter loss of 3 cents per share, down from 1 cent a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell to $557 from $793 million a year ago. Analysts polled by Reuters expected BlackBerry to post a net loss of 14 cents per share on revenue of $489 million.
"I think the direction of our software business is really good," CEO John Chen told CNBC's "Squawk Alley." "We really want to build out our software business."
BlackBerry's U.S.-listed shares rose almost 14 percent by midday Friday. Though the company has struggled to make its device business profitable, Chen said its new Android-BlackBerry hybrid phone, PRIV, has been well received.
"Regarding the hardware business, my No. 1 priority right now is to make money," Chen said. "Going to Android, and adding security on privacy on Android, I believe is an edge, in that we take advantage of the Android community and bring some value to it."
Going forward, Chen said he expects software to be a big business as the company continues to focus on privacy and security and gain momentum on its many patents. He will also announce expanded plans around connected-car technology at January tradeshow CES, he told CNBC.
"We already launched a number of partners who would like to use our software in .... a self-driven car," Chen said. "So we will be a provider of software and technology components to those efforts."
Shares of BlackBerry have risen more than 8 percent in the last three months, but remain nearly 25 percent lower for 2015.