It’s the end of an era for BlackBerry, as the once towering smartphone maker has announced that it will stop making its own phones in favor of a continued shift to focusing on software.
“The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen revealed in a press release. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”
Chen had previously said that BlackBerry would quit smartphone development if that part of the business was unable to turn a profit. Chen said that “our pivot to software is taking hold” – and, indeed, pieces of BlackBerry software are already available for Android devices besides BlackBerry’s.
While, in 2010’s third quarter, a mammoth 37.3% of US smartphone subscribers used a BlackBerry device, the iPhone and Android gradually chipped away at its popularity in the following years. By 2016’s first quarter, BlackBerry’s US market share had fallen to just 0.8% – leaving the company joining Nokia and Microsoft as a major casualty of the iPhone’s rise.