Blackberry leaves the phone market, stops production


BlackBerry has confirmed it will no longer be building its phones in-house and will instead leverage third-party OEMs.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has confirmed that his company will no longer be building its own phones going forwards. All new BlackBerry phones will be built by OEMs, likely in a bid to save some cash and lessen the risk associated with releasing a new phone.

According to what BlackBerry has confirmed, the company will build handsets with “partners” and these handsets will be branded as BlackBerry handsets. This new process, according to Chen, allows BlackBerry to focus on the software and security side of things.

“BlackBerry is no longer just about the smartphone, but the smart in the phone,” said chief executive John Chen.

BlackBerry has already worked with OEMs in the past to build its phones, so this isn’t exactly a HUGE shift. The DTEK50 wasn’t build in-house at BlackBerry, for example, and that handset, though underpowered, was more than adequate.

“Today we make our first significant step toward leading as a software company by announcing that we are transitioning from doing internal handset hardware development to leveraging our third party partner to provide that function,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, Mobility Solutions, at BlackBerry.

He added: “This is what the future looks like for our business, and it is the right move as we progress towards profitability. This will enable our resources to focus all efforts on providing state-of-the-art security software for devices and the enterprise of things, as well as work on other critical areas of the company.”

What’s more concerning is whether BlackBerry will ever produce handsets like the Passport ever again. That handset, for me, was one of the best phones released in recent times; it was unique, powerful and benefited from some of the best software ever plopped inside a smartphone.

How this affects BlackBerry’s plans for the rest of the year remains to be seen. Rumours suggest BlackBerry has at least two more handsets to reveal before the close of the year and these handsets will likely be more potent than the DTEK50.

“BlackBerry is working with Samsung on various projects and it will be interesting to see if the noted design becomes official and if Samsung will be one of BlackBerry’s hardware partners in the future,” notes Patently Apple.