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The long and drawn-out decline of BlackBerry continues. The latest twist in the tale being BlackBerry announcing it will no longer be developing or producing its own handsets.

BlackBerry is essentially shutting down its hardware division. The company will instead be farming out the development and production of all future handsets to third parties. So, while you will still be able to buy a BlackBerry handset Living with a BlackBerry: Lame Duck or Genuine Android Alternative? Living with a BlackBerry: Lame Duck or Genuine Android Alternative? The new BlackBerry Z10 is certainly impressive – but how does using it compare with using a new Android or Windows Phone handset? I decided to find out. Read More (if, for example, you take a nasty knock to the head) it will be a BlackBerry in name alone.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen told Recode:

“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.”

This really shouldn’t come as much of a shock to anyone. Chen previously warned that if the hardware division didn’t start making a profit he’d shut it down. And Chen has, rather admirably, stuck to his word.

From BlackBerry Hardware to BlackBerry Software

BlackBerry is basically admitting defeat on hardware, and choosing instead to focus on software. Which seems to be paying dividends.

In the company’s latest earnings report, Chen stated:

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“We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. 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.”

This should be welcome news for the handful of people who still care how BlackBerry is doing. It suggests that as a company BlackBerry is going to be just fine, having weathered the storm, and sailed out of the other side with its mast intact. It’s just that the hardware division fell overboard somewhere along the way.

Have you ever owned a BlackBerry? If so, when did you give up on BlackBerry How to Switch from BlackBerry to Android How to Switch from BlackBerry to Android Making the switch from BlackBerry to Android? Here's everything you need to know. Read More ? And why? Do you still use any of the company’s software? Do you actually care whether BlackBerry survives? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credit: Topher McCulloch via Flickr

  1. Christian Cawley
    September 29, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I think RIM have made the right move here. They have some important patents, and by outsourcing to OEMs have the opportunity to tackle Windows Phone/Mobile/Surface Phone without spending money they don't have on R&D and manufacturing.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 3, 2016 at 10:01 am

      I think it's a sensible decision, and an inevitable one for quite some time. The question for me is whether the BlackBerry name has enough pull these days to sell a device.

  2. David Bobb
    September 29, 2016 at 2:09 am

    Owned a Blackberry Z10. The OS on that was based on an interesting concept (Edge gestures like the Ubuntu Phone) and had the potential to go places but BB10 OS happened too little too late to unseat the names of popular android OEMs like Samsung and thus while it had potential, it also lacked the maturity and flourishing app ecosystem that android phones had. Their decision to abandon BB10 OS and go Android was also a move that happened too late.

    It seemed to me that RIM/Blackberry was always a year behind where it should've been. Like if it had did everything a year sooner (BB10 OS, or became an Android OEM) then things would've worked out.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 3, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Absolutely. BlackBerry stuck to its guns for too long, apparently not noticing that the world was moving on to pastures new. I suspect the company will survive, but it's such a bit-part player no one would really care if it shut up shop altogether.

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