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Press Release

BlackBerry to Stop Making Its Own Smartphones and Focus on Software

BlackBerry Ltd. officially announced Wednesday that it is going to stop making its own smartphones and focus on software for other companies’ devices.

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Shenzhen, Guangdong -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/02/2016 -- BlackBerry Ltd., the Canadian company that invented smartphones, officially said that it will stop designing and manufacturing handsets. The company will concentrate on software for other companies' devices. While BlackBerry phones will still exist, they will be made by other manufacturers that will pay royalties on the sales.

BlackBerry was once the undisputed king in the mobile phone market, but the rise of Apple, Samsung and other mobile phone manufacturers changed that. BlackBerry's global share has plunged to less than 1% for the past few years. An increasingly number of BlackBerry users switched from BlackBerry phone to iPhone or Samsung phone. The appearing of all kinds of data transfer software, like Leawo iTransfer, also made it easy for people to move data from BlackBerry phone to new device.

BlackBerry shipped only 400,000 phones in its fiscal second quarter, half what it sold in the same period last year. However, Apple sold more than 40 million iPhones last quarter. Software and services revenue is more than doubled in the quarter from a year earlier to US$156 million. Still, software revenue was down from the previous quarter's US$266 million, which Chen blamed on patent licensing deals that didn't carry over into the quarter.

"I think the market has spoken and I'm just listening," Chen said in a discussion with journalists. "You have to evolve to what your strength is and our strength is actually in the software and enterprise and security."

BlackBerry has since made multiple efforts to rescue its smartphone business, including the August launch of the Android-powered DTEK50, which the company claimed was the most secure smartphone in the world. However, even the DTEK50 may have been running BlackBerry's software, its hardware was a reference design by TCL, which is almost outsourced.

"We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold," Chen said. "In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company's history."

BlackBerry will focus on the software path in the future that John Chen has been pushing since he took over the CEO role in November 2013, include licensing its hardened version of Android and the associated secure apps. The name of BlackBerry will continue to be found on hardware, but the upcoming DTEK60 handset will be through licensing the BlackBerry name, rather than the handsets designed and developed directly by BlackBerry.

About Echo Brown
Echo Brown, the fulltime web content writer for the Chinese software company - Leawo Software, a multimedia solution and iTunes utilities provider. She is skillful and professional at tips for iPhone backup and data recovery, who writes about news and tips of Apple products and Android phones as well as other electronic products. The programs she has used and reviewed include iTunes, iOS devices, iTransfer, Android phone, and so on. These programs are the main sources that she writes articles or news about.

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