Canadian handset maker BlackBerry has officially confirmed that it’s shutting down their hardware division, and will stop making smartphones by itself. Though we’ll still see the BlackBerry logo on mobile devices, however, they won’t be designed or manufactured by the company.
BlackBerry devices from now on will be created by other OEMs and hardware partners, who’ll use the BlackBerry brand along with its software and apps that will run atop Android. John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry stated –
The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.
The news was revealed by BlackBerry in a press release, where CEO John Chen announced the move as part of the company’s fiscal Q2 2017 report. He further added that going forward BlackBerry will primarily focus on software development and security.
“Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications. The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital,” Chen further added.
BlackBerry has already adopted the same business model with it’s latest handset – the DTEK50. It’s an enterprise focused smartphone which runs BlackBerry software, though the hardware is manufactured by Alcatel. Besides, the company has also joined hands with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia, which will manufacture more devices under the BlackBerry brand. They’ll essentially manufacture, distribute and promote BlackBerry-branded devices running the company’s software atop Android for the Indonesian market.
Besides, CEO John Chen also revealed in an interview with BNN that the company plans to release another smartphone with the ever so popular QWERTY keyboard in the next couple of years. Though he did not reveal which hardware manufacturer will manufacture the next BlackBerry with the legendary keyboard.
BlackBerry devices were highly popular among smartphone users for almost a decade. Users were so obsessed with BlackBerry phones that lead to the term ‘CrackBerry.” Though everything changed with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. As Apple showcased that smartphones could do much more than just basic messaging, emails and phone calls.