End Of An Era: BlackBerry To Stop Making Smartphones

The age of the iconic keyboard-ed smartphone is over as BlackBerry's John Chen confirmed that the firm will stop developing hardware in-house as its pivot to software shows “signs of momentum”.

BlackBerry has completely outsourced smartphone design and production, a process that Chen had been doing piecemeal since taking over as CEO almost three years ago.

Analysts had been holding their breath for the news after Chen said September was his deadline for making the chronically money-losing device business profitable. BlackBerry’s device business, which it calls "Mobility Solutions," will focus on developing applications and an extra-secure version of Google’s Android operating system that it can license to other companies.

“Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia,” Chen said in a statement.

“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.”
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