Obama with his blackberry in 2009

BlackBerry phones, at one point the best phones in the market, are now a step closer to the consumer electronics dust bin. The company confirmed that it would no longer make its signature devices that were once the preserve of the Hollywood elite, preferring to take the outsourced manufacturing route.

With this new strategy, BlackBerry can now direct its attention to delivering differentiation in software and security, which is exactly what the market demands, according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen. With the release of the company’s Q2 earnings, the sales were short of Wall Street forecasts.

BlackBerry shares, however, saw a rise of 5.7% following the company’s efforts in raising its loss forecast to at most five cents per share, coming in lower than the 15 cents a share expected by analysts. According to Chen, the move to license phone manufacturing will result in “reasonable savings” by the company and lead to better performance in terms of profits.

BlackBerry had a goal to ship 2.4 million devices this year, with the number falling short of other industry leaders such as Samsung, Apple, and LG. Samsung’s projections for the year were 324.2 million phones, Apple’s projection coming in at 202.5 million devices and LG trailing at 58.6 million, according to Macquarie Research’s projections back in June. In July this year, BlackBerry made the announcement of its discontinuation of the BlackBerry Classic line. The BlackBerry Classic was one of the last smartphones to feature a physical keyboard. The phone has been in production since 2003.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen

Chen also disclosed that the company’s CFO, James Yersh, was leaving the company “for personal reasons.” Yersh has been working at Blackberry since 2008. The company’s stock is down 10.2% in 2016, with the last five years seeing the stock drop by a massive 60%.


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