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Over a year ago, John Chen, the CEO of Blackberry stated that they will end all internal hardware developments if there will be no substantial profits by the end of 2016. Even with the release of Blackberry’s first Android slider smartphone-Priv, the device didn’t get a really good reception from customers due to its expensive launch price, and the features it offers when compared to the likes of other smartphone brands such as Apple, Samsung, Sony and so on.
During the second quarter financial results that were published recently, Blackberry officially declared that they will no longer design and build their own smartphones from the company themselves, rather focus on security and software enhancements. That said, the company isn’t entirely leaving the smartphone market. As it appears, they will continue to partner with other smartphone brands to release smartphones with Blackberry software security enhancements. The recently announced Blackberry DTEK50 is one fine example, in which the device is originally an Alcatel Idol 4 smartphone, rebranded with Blackberry insignia.
“Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia. Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications. The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”
With Blackberry being done with building their own smartphones, fans who still prefer the iconic brand will end up being disappointed. While the rumored Blackberry Rome candy-bar smartphone with physical keyboard is now in question since the company is done making their own devices, John Chen interestingly mentions in a video interview that one of the upcoming smartphones will indeed have a physical keyboard. “We have some good plans and I don’t mind telling you, somewhere there, we are going to have a keyboard”. This could mean that Blackberry will be partnering with another smartphone brand to develop a keyboard smartphone in the near future, but who will it be?