Thursday, 29 September 2016

END OF AN ERA: BlackBerry won't make BlackBerrys Phones any more after 14 years

…as Apple and Samsung dominate the industry

The mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry has announced that it will no longer manufacture its own smartphones after a rollercoaster 14 years in the business.
Once upon a time, the QWERTY keyboard-equipped phones were the choice of businessmen, executives and even President Barack Obama.
But they fell upon hard times as the world moved over to the sort of touchscreen phones made by Apple or Samsung.
“The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to our partners,” said John Chen, chief executive and executive chairman of BlackBerry.
“We are focusing on software development, including security and applications.”
BlackBerry recorded losses of $425m in the last quarter, but made a profit of $51m at the same time last year.
President Obama was one of the world’s most committed BlackBerry fans and was the first leader of the free world to use the gadget.
But even Barack was forced to give up his beloved BlackBerry and swap to a more secure phone earlier this year.

John Jackson, analyst at IDC, said BlackBerry’s decision to stop making devices was “entirely sensible and probably overdue”. He added: “Software revenue and the margin profile associated with that is where the focus should have been, and now can be.”
CMC Markets said the death of the BlackBerry handset marked the end of an era for a company once considered one of the world’s major smartphone vendors. CMC said that at its peak in September 2013, there were 85 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide, but by March 2016 the number had fallen to 23 million as it lost out to the Android and iOS platforms.
Colin Cieszynski, chief market analyst at CMC, said: “Today marks a big transition for BlackBerry and the end of an era for the company. The company plans to shift its focus fully to communications and security software development, reducing capital requirements and increasing margins.”

BlackBerry shares rose in pre-market trading after it announced better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter and revised up earnings expectations for the full year to a range of zero to five cents a share, compared with current market expectations of a 15-cent loss.

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