For BlackBerry, it has been a rough five years or so, as the iPhone and Android took off with new features that BlackBerry just couldn't keep up with, and given the company's stubborn attitude in the past to stick with their own platforms, the firm's offerings did not compete well with the iPhone and Galaxy S devices well at all. After some restructuring however, including a change of leadership at the top, BlackBerry has definitely relented on their stubborn ways, adopting Android in last year's BlackBerry PRIV, and again this year with the more affordable DTEK50. Speaking of which, the DTEK50 – which is apparently to be followed up by the DTEK60, soon – was the first device to be marketed as a BlackBerry device that was not 100% designed by the firm themselves. Rumors have been swirling for weeks now that the Canadian firm would give up on their internal hardware entirely, and today these rumors became fact in a press release from BlackBerry themselves.
The press release was focused on Q2 fiscal 2016 results, but it also had the following statement from John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry; "The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners." There are a number of reasons why anyone would go down this route, and one which Chen himself confirms as he says that "This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital." As to just what BlackBerry will be doing to remain in business now that they will no longer design or manufacture their own hardware, Chen said that "we are focusing on software development, including security and applications." We've already seen a number of BlackBerry apps for Android hit the Play Store for all Android users, and under this new focus, we could end up seeing more of them.
This move shouldn't come as a surprise to many, but it is an important step that further marks the decline of a once-great name in the world of mobile. BlackBerry might have been beaten by the Android and iOS platforms, but the firm continued to hang on for as long as they could, and when they eventually turned to Android, it might have perhaps been too late. Regardless, the BlackBerry name will live on, and new devices are likely to be released, but the days of the Canadian firm introducing their own designs and hardware features seem to have finally come to an end.