Rumours suggest BlackBerry is packing up phone business

BlackBerry is being rumoured to announce the closure of its phone business during its earnings call on September 28th.

The rumour comes not long after BlackBerry launched the DTEK50 Android phone with BB 10 Enterprise software and is expected to launch a DTEK60 phone soon.

BlackBerry's staunch refusal to give up on the smartphone market stems from the company's belief that it can still offer the best and the most secure software solutions to phone buyers. The company made a wise move last year by switching from BB10 OS to Android and by merging all that's good about its Enterprise software with the world's most popular OS. However, disappointing sales of the premium BlackBerry Priv smartphone led a lot to believe that BlackBerry's game was over as far as devices were concerned.

BlackBerry's Hub+ service is coming to Android Lollipop phones

However, the company shot back last month by launching the DTEK50, a mid-range Android smartphone powered by BlackBerry Enterprise software and featuring end-to-end encryption, built-in malware protection and zero day Android upgrades. The company didn't stop at this point, but went on to cut pricing of the Priv by as much as £100 and launch BlackBerry Hub+ for Android 5.1 Lollipop and later versions. Hub+ offers a common and secure platform for e-mails, social media updates, texts and contacts and includes a Calendar, a password keeper, a place to save all your contacts, a task manager, a device search mechanism to search for emails, contacts, messages or songs, a Note keeper and a BlackBerry launcher to let you organise apps, widgets and shortcuts.

With such path-breaking moves, it almost seemed like if BlackBerry couldn't sell the body, it could sell the soul. A few days ago, specifications of an upcoming DTEK60 smartphone appeared on the web, fuelling rumours that the company wasn't done with device manufacturing as yet, despite sharing less than 1% of all smartphones sales globally. A new report which appeared today now claims quite the opposite. It claims that BlackBerry is slated to announce closure of its phone business during its earnings call on September 28.

BB10 is here to stay, says BlackBerry COO

The reasons stated by the report for such an announcement are true and make a lot of sense. It says that BlackBerry's phone business, which hardly makes any money, sucks up as much as 65% of BlackBerry's investments on research and development and because of it, the company is expected to keep losing money in the coming years. BlackBerry did discontinue production of the Classic in July, but leaked specifications of a new phone suggest that the company may want to give it another go at the devices market, despite angry investors calling for a cull.

In October of last year, BlackBerry CEO John Chen announced that the company may discard the handsets business and focus totally on offering security solutions to iOS and Android, unless the Priv turns out to be successful. The Priv didn't, and the report published today claims that Chen is expected to take a call this month on the future of the company's phone business. With the company's quarterly earnings call coming up on September 28th, it will be interesting to find out if the DTEK50 was the last BlackBerry phone ever to hit global markets.

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  1. Guest
    Guest25th Sep 2016

    I don't believe BlackBerry will stop making devices. One good reason is John Chen stated his customers want "BlackBerry" devices. BlackBerry is curr...

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