It’s the end of an era today, as BlackBerry has announced that it will stop developing smartphone hardware.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen today confirmed that BlackBerry will stop all internal hardware development and instead outsource that work to its partners. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital,” Chen explained.
Rather than develop new hardware, BlackBerry plans to focus on software development, including security and applications. Chen said today that in BlackBerry’s fiscal Q2 2017, the company more than doubled its software revenue year-over-year.
Unfortunately for BlackBerry, the company still managed to post a loss in the second quarter. It reported a net less of $372 million for fiscal Q2 2017, compared to a loss of $66 million in fiscal Q2 2016.
BlackBerry has been a major player in the smartphone world, having released some iconic smartphones and some popular software, too, like BlackBerry Messenger. BlackBerry has had a bit of a rough go in recent years, though, with hardware sales falling and people moving to Android and iOS.
Today’s news doesn’t mean that the we’re done seeing the BlackBerry name on smartphones altogether. The name does still carry weight with some customers, and new phones with the BlackBerry name on them will still get attention. It’s just that those phones won’t be designed or made by BlackBerry itself.