BlackBerry officially abandoned design and producing its own smartphone
BlackBerry has announced that it plans to stop making its own phones as the struggling company continues to focus on its software and security products.
Blackberry is to stop designing smartphones in-house after 14 years, the company has announced.
Once a market leader, the company has struggled to keep pace with modern handsets produced by rivals such as Apple and Samsung.
In May, the company's chief executive, John Chen, said he would know by September whether the hardware business was likely to become profitable.
Now, Blackberry says it will outsource hardware development to partners. But the company has not yet confirmed when any further Blackberry phones will be released.
Mr Chen has been candid about the future of Blackberry's handset business, saying he would consider closing the division if it could not become profitable.
This isn't surprising news considering BlackBerry's ongoing struggle in the mobile market. According to estimates from Gartner, the company claimed just 0.1 percent of the market in the second quarter, equating to sales of some 400,400 units. The last BlackBerry phone manufactured by the company was the Priv, the company's first Android-powered device, released November last year.
In May, he told Bloomberg that he would know by September whether that was likely.
"The first time I made that statement was September a year ago," said Mr Chen.
"When people ask me, 'How long will it take?'... I said a year. So, it's going to be September this year."
In October 2015, Blackberry changed the direction of its handset business by producing its first smartphone running Google's Android operating system, rather than its own BB10 software.
However, Mr Chen has admitted the device, which featured a slide-out physical keyboard, was too expensive to appeal to a mass market.
The company has since launched a less expensive touchscreen-only Android handset, based on a phone released by Alcatel owner TCL.
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