BlackBerry's CEO John Chen was tasked with a pretty tough job when he took the reigns of BlackBerry in 2013. The Canadian smartphone maker had been losing market share left and right, and Chen's job was to turn that all around. Chen started by cutting costs in a lot of areas, and even cutting down the number of smartphone models they make. He eventually went the route of using Android to power their smartphones and put a larger emphasis on software and security, over hardware. Which is evident with the new DTEK50, seeing as it's actually made by TCL and not by BlackBerry themselves.
At an event in Toronto today, Chen was talking about BlackBerry's turnaround efforts and said that they are two-thirds of the way to achieving Chen's goal of turning around BlackBerry. There's still plenty to go, and Chen also added that they have invested over a billion in software and security. Now the next step is to execute it. This appears to fall in line with what the rumor mill has been spitting out lately, and that is the fact that BlackBerry will stop making and selling hardware. It has been rumored that BlackBerry would announce the closure of their hardware arm during their earnings call on Wednesday, September 28th. While Chen hasn't come out and confirmed that this is happening, he is hinting at it.
BlackBerry currently holds a very small market share, under 1% globally. That's even while having two Android-powered smartphones on the market, in the BlackBerry PRIV and the DTEK50. The PRIV was the last smartphone to be made by BlackBerry – as mentioned before, the DTEK50 was actually manufactured by TCL who owns Alcatel, hence the reason it looks so similar to the Alcatel Idol 4. BlackBerry's turn to focusing solely on software and security shouldn't be a surprising one. That's actually what they built their business on. While many BlackBerry users did love their full physical QWERTY keyboards, that was back in the day when on-screen keyboards weren't as good. Now users are more interested in BlackBerry's software, especially in today's age of there being so many hacks for personal information and such. This would also be a good way for BlackBerry to keep, or obtain contracts with the government – which are their most lucrative customers.