BlackBerry To Stop Making Smartphones

BlackBerry's decline from its reign as king of the global smartphone market reached its nadir Wednesday when the company announced it would end phone production entirely.

BlackBerry's decline from its reign as king of the global smartphone market reached its nadir Wednesday when the company announced it would end phone production entirely.

The Canadian telecommunications giant detailed its "new strategic direction" during the announcement of its latest quarterly financial results. Officials said that it would continue to focus on software development, end all internal hardware development and "outsource that function to partners."

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the shift would reduce the company's capital spending and bolster its returns on investment.

"We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy," Chen said in a statement. "Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold."

BlackBerry announced earlier this summer that it would end production of its "BlackBerry Classic," the last in a line of devices equipped with a front screen and punch keyboard that helped make the company a household name at the dawn of the smartphone era.

The company maintained its market-leading position as recently as 2009 before handsets developed by Apple, Samsung and others eroded its market share. BlackBerry officials subsequently turned their attention to software and other business services.

The company reported a second-quarter net loss of $372 million and a nearly 32 percent revenue decline compared to the same quarter last year — a result of $147 million in charges related to its reorganization.

Chen, however, touted the revamped company's "momentum," including an improved forecast for the fiscal year and its "first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia."

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