Nearly everyone either owned or knew someone who owned a BlackBerry phone, with BBM ruling the roost and WhatsApp nowhere to be seen. But this era is drawing to a close, with the latest financial report from BlackBerry Limited stating that it ‘plans to end all internal hardware development’, instead focusing on software offerings which can then be used by other companies.
Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold
John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry
This isn’t to say that BlackBerry devices will no longer exist – partners involved with the outsourcing process will be allowed use of the BlackBerry name when marketing their devices. BlackBerry Limited will also remain involved with the devices produced, although primarily through the development of their own variant of Google’s Android operating system. What will be lost, however, is the total in-house process that BlackBerry Limited (previously known as Research In Motion) previously held, where both hardware (e.g. physical devices) and software were developed and designed within the same company.
This announcement was followed the same day by confirmation that BlackBerry Limited had entered into a joint venture with Indonesian telecommunications company PT Tiphone Mobile Indonesia Tbk, with an aim to produce and sell BlackBerry-branded devices.