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BlackBerry kills the smartphone division, will focus to software, services licensing


BlackBerry, née RIM, has announced that it will no longer rise a possess smartphone or inscription hardware. The association is now transitioning from a hardware-centric business to a program expansion company. It expects to finish that transition some-more effectively now that it has finished a possess inner hardware efforts.

“Our new Mobility Solutions plan is arrangement signs of momentum, including a initial vital device program chartering agreement with a telecom corner try in Indonesia,” CEO John Chen told investors. “Under this strategy, we are focusing on program development, including confidence and applications. The association skeleton to finish all inner hardware expansion and will outsource that duty to partners. This allows us to revoke collateral mandate and raise lapse on invested capital.”


Since 2013, BlackBerry’s marketplace share has depressed even farther. It’s now next 1% of a market.

Today’s news outlines a finish of an epoch for BlackBerry, though one that’s been a long time coming. The association is a classical instance of a supposed innovator’s dilemma, in that a absolute association that dominates a marketplace is incompetent to expect what kind of products a business will direct in a future. Rather than experimenting and introducing new products and services, a association will double down on a facilities and capabilities that done it popular.


The BlackBerry PlayBook could’ve revolutionized a early Android inscription market, if it hadn’t been a half-baked mess.

BlackBerry’s missteps began with a systemic refusal to adjust to a iPhone and what it represented. Like Microsoft (at a time) it discharged a iPhone and a touch-centric arrangement as a gimmick. BlackBerry built a business on corporate contracts, earthy keyboards, and email — not multimedia streaming, consumer-friendly underline sets, and vast (again, during a time) LCDs. In 2011, BlackBerry was fielding still-popular smaller models like a Pearl, a Curve, and a executive favorite Bold. At a same time, companies like Apple and Samsung were rising dual-core hardware with incomparable displays, aloft resolutions, and consumer-friendly underline sets. Perhaps most importantly, Apple and Samsung were during a forefront of a new, skyrocketing mobile app scene that was approach brazen of what upheld for third-party (and mostly vertical-market) apps on BlackBerrys.

At a time, BlackBerry’s corner CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis, insisted that a company’s fortunes would redeem interjection to increasing uptake in unfamiliar markets and clever partnerships with companies around a globe. By a time BlackBerry woke adult and satisfied a whole marketplace was being eaten out from underneath it, it was too late to locate up.

The company’s late, long-awaited BlackBerry 10 OS might have been renouned with a small shred of a BlackBerry faithful, though it definitely unsuccessful in-market. BlackBerry gamble that business executives would group behind to a earthy keyboards, though by a time these inclination were ready, a marketplace for earthy keyboards in a smartphone was fundamentally dead. The company’s initial Android device, a Priv, wasn’t bad, though it wasn’t great, either, quite not during a initial $700 cost point.


BlackBerry gamble on Android and a code name that reminded people of an out-of-date word for “bathroom” (privy). Not a winning combination.

The problem with betting on earthy keyboards wasn’t that people disliked them. The problem was, a strenuous infancy of smartphone users currently never owned a BlackBerry device or a earthy keyboard during all. The Priv’s pivotal underline was an try to drum adult unrestrained in a vanishing market, not a capability that would alone interest to new business looking during BlackBerry for a initial time.

Earlier this year, BlackBerry launched a DTEK 50, a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4. Any destiny inclination that a association launches will presumably be protected from other manufacturers as well. The good news is that BlackBerry’s program and services multiplication are arrangement signs of expansion and might be sufficient to lift a association forward, for a small while anyway. Whether it can continue to build on this expansion now that it’s merely chartering hardware is reduction clear.


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