BlackBerry: We’re Done Developing Our Own Smartphones

In a somewhat surprising move today, BlackBerry announced that they’re done developing their own smartphones and will gear their focus toward making better software. The reason behind this decision is due to the company becoming victim to a net loss of $372 million, something they believe was caused by attempts at making new smartphones designed and built solely by them which didn’t settle well with the public and reviewers alike.

In the future, if BlackBerry does decide to develop a new smartphone, they’ll rely on partners to design and build the handsets for them while the company makes the software. CEO John Chen had this to say on the matter (via Re/code).

“The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

This method of developing new devices may prove rather successful. Google has done this for years with their Nexus lineup by having third parties build and design their handsets while the company supplies the software. So at this time, it seems that BlackBerry is interested in doing the same thing. And overall, that makes sense. BlackBerry is very well-known for creating some of the most secure and productive software for business and even casual users, so by having this element featured on other company’s hardware, I think we may have a pretty good match. Of course, a majority of the success of said handsets will depend on who builds and designs them, but for now it looks like the company is finally beginning to get their act straight.

One smartphone that’s actually rumored to be coming in the very near future is BlackBerry’s DTEK60. We saw this handset’s specs leak just last week via BlackBerry themselves, so we pretty much know it’s coming. Our only problem is we don’t know if this will mark BlackBerry’s first smartphone designed and built by a third-party or if they’ll be developing this device themselves. Since this announcement of them axing all hardware development came at this particular time, it’s really unclear whether the DTEK60 even has a future or not. Of course, only time will tell if this handset ever sees the light of day, so stay tuned.