It’s been a long wait, but BlackBerry has decided pulled the plug on its ailing hardware business and will now focus on its software business instead. While announcing the company’s results for the quarter ended August, CEO John Chen said that “the company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”
BlckBerry will now focus on developing security solutions and applications. It also signed a software licensing deal with Indonesia’s PT BB Merah Putih to license its software and services for the production of handsets for the Indonesian market. BB Merah Putih will source, distribute and promote BlackBerry-branded devices that use their secure Android software and applications.
BlackBerry’s decision to focus on software segment was boosted by the fact it doubled revenue from the the same quarter last year. Software and services reported revenue of $156 million in the quarter.
Move to Android-based OS
In May, the company released Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Android M) Operating System (OS) on PRIV—BlackBerry’s flagship Android smartphone. Existing PRIV users were prompted to upgrade to Android M by downloading the software update on their device.
In March, Facebook ended support for its app and Facebook Messenger for all devices running the BlackBerry OS, by the end of this year. This comes after WhatsApp too said that it would ending support for all BlackBerry devices including the the PRIV and other outdated mobiles OSes from Windows Phone and Symbian.
BBM Money in India
In April, BlackBerry and Digitsecure, a payments platform which runs HotRemit, partnered to bring BBM Money to India. The company had started the digital remittance service in Indonesia in 2014. BBM Money is an app which integrates directly with a customer’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) account, and allows users to pay for goods using the BBM platform.