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BlackBerry shuts down and officially pulls out of the handset business

by Felix Omondi
BlackBerry shuts down and officially pulls out of the handset business

BlackBerry has thrown in the towel and shut down its hardware production division. Going forward any device produced bearing the BlackBerry logo will be from an outsourced partner to the company.

This news comes as little surprise to those who have been keeping an eye on consumer trends. When was the last time you saw someone with a BlackBerry smartphone? If you did, how often do you come across such people?

That aside, numbers do not lie! From as early as 2009, the company has been struggling to sell its handset as consumers increasingly found Android and iOS devices more appealing. BlackBerry was late to adapt to changing consumer taste and preference; the company stuck to its gun with the physical keyboards. At a time when consumers tastes and preferences were growing in favor of the touch-screen devices.

Android and iOS gave BlackBerry a fierce run for its money as they produced touch-screen devices with intuitive user experience operating system. The company’s hardware (handset) division has been struggling from as early as 2009.

There has been a lot of efforts by the company’s management to turn the company’s fortunes around, but with little if any results being achieved. Some of that effort included shipping BlackBerry smartphones running competitor’s OS like Android. In fact, going forward, new BlackBerry smartphones will be rebadged Android phones made by the company’s partners.

Take, for instance, the 2015 DTEK50. It looks like the Alcatel Idol 4, and the DTEK60 set to be released soon looks more like the Alcatel Idol 4S. BlackBerry has announced that it is officially pulling the plug on the capital-intensive handset division, which cost more to run than it reels in, and will instead focus on its burgeoning software division.

It looks like the company will now become a top-notch software maker, with some great security feature on the offering for mobile devices. Again, stats show the company has a competitive edge when it comes to software security. The Q2 of 2016 shows more than doubled the revenue from its software offerings; year over year. In fact, the software division delivered highest gross margin in BlackBerry’s history.

Once upon a time, BlackBerry gave the world the best handsets of their times, like the Bold and Q10. It is indeed such a shame that they have to close shop. All thanks to Google and Apple.

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