BlackBerry Won’t Be Designing Or Building Its Own Devices Anymore

Image courtesy of Ninja M.

BlackBerry is taking a big step back from the company it used to be, announcing today that it’s planning to stop designing and building its own devices, and will instead outsource that work to manufacturers.

“The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” CEO John Chen said in a statement.

Instead, the company will be focusing on its software and security products, with Chen noting, “We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold.”

If you’ve been following the path of BlackBerry at all recently, this news should come as no surprise: the last phone the company made itself was the Priv, released in November 2015, The Verge notes. At that time, Chen said Blackberry would need to sell five million phones a year to stay afloat in the consumer hardware business. He later cut that figure to three million — never a good sign.

Then in July 2016, the company announced it would stop making its classic smartphone, furthering rumors that BlackBerry’s hardware business was slowing to a stop. A few days later, however, Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard said rumors that the company would its keyboard and BB10 operating system were both untrue.

“We are absolutely not backing away from BB10,” Beard said at the time. “The company’s never said that we would not build another BB10 device.”

There could still be another BlackBerry device running on BB10, sure, but it won’t be made by BlackBerry.

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