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No More Hardware Building for BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO John Chen

Canadian company BlackBerry, known best for its super-secure Smartphones, is ending all in-house hardware development, CEO John Chen has announced.

blackberry-logo_1If you are a BlackBerry lover, there is no need for despair, however; the Waterloo, Ont. firm plans to outsource Smartphone-making to its “partners,” while BlackBerry itself focuses on software and security.

“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 the company’s second quarter report. “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.”

The move should come as no surprise. Since Chen took the reins of the floundering company back in the fall of 2013, he has done a major overhaul to return the company to its core strengths of enterprise and security. Now that hardware is off the company’s plate completely, it will give BlackBerry more resources to focus on those strengths.

“We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy,” Chen said. “Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold. In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company’s history. We also completed initial shipments of BlackBerry Radar, an end-to end asset tracking system, and signed a strategic licensing agreement to drive global growth in our BBM consumer business.”

BlackBerry this summer announced the demise of its Classic Smartphone, saying the BlackBerry Classic, which was immensely popular once upon a time for its Qwerty keyboard, will no longer be a part of the company’s manufacturing schedule.

In January, BlackBerry said it would focus solely on Android, meaning phones operating on the BlackBerry 10 system would be shelved. It is likely that whatever phones it has in the works with its “partners” will be Android-run.  The last BlackBerry phone —the DETK50 — was made by Alcatel. It featured BlackBerry’s security and messaging features, but an Android operating system.

About the author

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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  • I am really sad to hear BlackBerry going through this. Once they had the executive market in their hands, and now on one would love to carry a BlackBerry.