During its quarterly earnings call in September, BlackBerry confirmed that it will, going forward, concentrate on software and will outsource device manufacturing to its partners. The decision did result in a slight increase in BlackBerry's share prices and seems well-timed given that BlackBerry managed to sell a mere 400,000 handsets in the last quarter.
After launching the DTEK60, whose reception in the market cannot be quantified as yet, BlackBerry has again reiterated that it will continue to build software for future devices but the devices will be manufactured by contract manufacturers, just like how Google's Nexus and Pixel phones have been manufactured by other phone makers like HTC, LG, Huawei and Motorola.
BlackBerry launches DTEK60: All you need to know
“We’re not getting out of phones. We’ll license with partners to ensure our security story is maintained. Our partners will develop and distribute hardware. It expands the options for customers that value BB productivity and security, and expands choice,” said Scott Wenger, Head of design and devices at BlackBerry to The Register.
Last month, BlackBerry CEO John Chen told BNN that even after handset manufacturing is outsourced, the company's iconic physical QWERTY keyboard will 'continue on' and that the company will license the manufacturing rights of QWERTY keyboards to its partners. This meant that no matter who manufactured BlackBerry devices, the QWERTY keyboard will continue to live on. This understanding was reinforced a few days ago when a new BlackBerry patent suggested that not only will the physical keyboard continue in its future phones, but the phones will also feature new technologies to remain competitive in the hard-fought smartphone market. The patent was obtained for a new touch-sensitive keyboard which will serve as a mode of authentication for unlocking phones.
A fresh leak suggests that a new BlackBerry device code-named Mercury is in the works. The upcoming phone will run the latest Android 7.0 Nougat OS and will feature a 4.5-inch HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 32GB of internal storage, 3GB of RAM, a monster 3,400 mAh battery and 18-MP and 8-MP rear and front cameras. From what BlackBerry's bosses have confirmed time and again, we believe that Mercury is being designed and developed by a third party manufacturer who may have obtained licencing for a physical QWERTY keyboard as well.
BlackBerry patents touch keyboard with swipe authentication for future phones
As of now, BlackBerry is putting all its money on its proprietary Hub+ services which let Android device users enjoy BlackBerry's security and productivity features without having to buy a BlackBerry phone. Among the services that the BlackBerry® Hub+ for Android brings in is the Hub itself which will let you compose emails and posts on social media, respond to messages, select email recipients from phone contacts, manage your folders and search for contacts, messages and emails effortlessly. The service also 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.
Unless BlackBerry rethinks its strategy, it will continue to refine its Enterprise management software and outsource development of future devices to other manufacturers. It will be interesting to see if this strategy will work in favour of the company's finances in the long term.
Source: The Register