Blackberry will stop manufacturing handsets, closing its in-house design and production capability and ending the life of first-party handsets like the Priv. Its an announcement which is neither unexpected nor particularly relevant to anyone, including Blackberry and its fans.
Blackberry has become just another flavour of Android, with the Canadian company choosing to drop its software into the Android environment to try and create a unique Android user experience: security.
To that end its most recent handset and its imminent next handset are both rebadged versions of existing phones, the DTEK50 is a rebadged Alcatel Idol 4. The incoming DTEK60 probably based on another Alcatel model.
The Priv was a last forlorn hope that Blackberry could make an impact on the premium market by bundling its own hardware and software together to offer something appealing to the enterprise market.
Having seen how badly that particular move went CEO John Chen acted with commendable speed to change the company’s operating model. The DTEK50 hasn’t received a glowing reception, however as a business phone it offers some advantages that will make it more attractive to certain buyers than an iPhone, Samsung or Windows Mobile phone.
Of course the new devices won’t succeed unless they can deliver on security and update promises. Not having to focus on hardware may allow Blackberry to do just that.