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Blackberry stops designing its own phones

September 29th, 2016

Blackberry is to stop designing smartphones in-house after 14 years, the company has announced.

Once a market leader, the company has struggled to keep pace with modern handsets produced by rivals such as Apple and Samsung.

In May, the company’s chief executive, John Chen, said he would know by September whether the hardware business was likely to become profitable.

Now, Blackberry says it will outsource hardware development to partners.

The company has not yet confirmed when any further Blackberry phones will be released, but Mr Chen said on Wednesday that further devices including one with the “iconic” physical keyboard would go on sale.

“I always wanted to make sure that we keep having the iconic devices,” Mr ChenĀ told BNN.

“I just need to find a way to be efficient and be able to make money. I think we found the model.”

The company said it sold about 400,000 smartphones in its second quarter – fewer than the previous three months.

“Blackberry can’t keep producing its own phones indefinitely just to serve a small subset of its clients addicted to its home-grown devices,” said Ben Wood of the CCS Insight consultancy.

“Blackberry had made no secret of the fact that it might shut down its own phone-making business. Pushing it out to a third party is a sensible solution – but any manufacturer making Blackberry branded devices will ultimately face the same challenges.”

ONO
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