BlackBerry has announced that it will stop making phones in order to focus on software development.
The production of handsets will be leveraged to a new, Indonesia-based joint venture called BB Merah Putih. This venture will be led by PT Tiphone, an affiliate of Indonesia’s largest carrier, Telkomsel.
Chief operating officer and general manager at BlackBerry, Ralph Pini said the decision enables the company to continue bringing BlackBerry devices to the market and develop “state-of-the-art security software for devices”.
“BlackBerry is no longer just about the smartphone, but the smart in the phone,” said BlackBerry CEO, John Chen. “Through this strategy, there will continue to be BlackBerry-branded devices in the market; when you see our logo it means security, from our class-leading enterprise software to devices secured by BlackBerry software.”
BlackBerry smartphones have long been overtaken by Apple and Samsung, with current market share of 0.1 per cent and recorded losses of $670 million in the last quarter.
BlackBerry was known as the inventor of smartphones, with the launch of BlackBerry 850 in 1999. It was popular among business executives and heads of state, with President Barack Obama as one of the world’s most prominent fans of the phone product.