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 (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:
“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? 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