In a move that should surprise absolutely nobody, troubled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has decided to give up entirely on phone production.
The once-king of the smartphone market has struggled to keep up since the world’s collective taste shifted from tiny hardware keyboards to large touchscreens. “Too little, too late,” became a recurring theme for virtually every new device BlackBerry produced, starting in the late 2000s.
Greatly diminished sales quickly led to rounds of layoffs, all while the company continued to produce new models that simply didn’t catch any noticeable traction.
After repeatedly failing at duplicating the success of iPhone and Android devices with its own touchscreen efforts, BlackBerry went back to its roots with the admittedly fantastic BlackBerry Classic. Unfortunately, the heyday of physical keyboards seems to be well and truly behind us, and even that stellar piece of hardware failed to generate much interest.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen released a statement on the company’s decision to step away from the hardware market, stating, “The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners.”
BlackBerry will continue to exist as a software company, focusing on apps from here on out.