BlackBerry Quits Phone Business

BlackBerry Quits Phone Business
BlackBerry has given up on designing and making phones to concentrate on software development.

(CCM) — BlackBerry has thrown in the towel in its fight to keep its phone-making business going and has announced plans close it.

In a press release issued today by John Chen, the company's CEO, said that "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."

The move follows a failed attempt to improve the fortune of its phone business by abandoning its own phone operating system and adopting Google's Android instead. BlackBerry also announced that it has entered a licensing agreement with BB Merah Putih, an Indonesian company, which will manufacture, distribute, and promote BlackBerry-branded devices running BlackBerry's secure Android software and applications.

The announcement is consistent with the strategy that BlackBerry adopted for its recent DTEK 50 phone. This was manufactured by a Chinese company and then rebranded as a BlackBerry product.

In 2009, BlackBerry's phones accounted for about 20% of the phone market, just behind market leader Nokia. But since then, its market share has collapsed as former-customers flocked to Apple's iPhone and other keyboard-less phones running Android. Today, BlackBerry's market share is well below 1%.

Image: © Pieter Beens -