CANADIAN FIRM BlackBerry has announced plans to stop manufacturing mobile devices, reinforcing its aim to become a 'software-first' company.
This doesn't mean that we won't see any more BlackBerry smartphones (sorry) but does mean that the manufacturing of future devices will be outsourced.
BlackBerry claimed a mere 0.3 per cent of the global mobile market in the second quarter as it failed completely to match the likes of Apple, Huawei and Samsung.
The firm hinted earlier this year that it would make this move if its mobile business didn't become more profitable.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said at the time: "Since I started at the company I've been saying I'll make the handset business profitable. If I can’t make it profitable because the market won’t let me, I’ll get out of the handset business. I love our handset business, but we need to make money."
Chen elaborated on this at an event in New York in August attended by INQ, saying vaguely: "We can stay in the handset biz by not having to make every handset. There's lots we can license. Maybe even the name."
Chen confirmed the move to investors on Wednesday, saying that the production of any future BlackBerry devices, such as the BlackBerry DTEK60, will be outsourced to third-party manufacturers.
"Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum. Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications," he said.
"The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements."
BlackBerry has named just one partner so far that will be roped into building its devices: Indonesia-based BB Merah Putih.
This announcement was made during BlackBerry's second-quarter earnings call, during which the firm revealed that revenue fell from $490m (around £375m) to $334m (£255m) year on year. This represented a bumper loss of $372m (£285m), despite reporting a profit of $51m (£39m) in the year-ago quarter.
It wasn't all bad news, though. The company highlighted new software products such as BlackBerry Hub+ for Android, and said that it more than doubled software revenues year over year and delivered "the highest gross margin in the company's history".
BlackBerry also claimed to have bagged 3,000 new enterprise customers in the past three months. Woo. µ
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