BlackBerry isn't making handsets anymore, but its phones aren't dead

Handing over the reins to third parties

It's over guys. Shut it down. Unplug the mainframe. Last one out turn off the lights. Close the door behind you. Throw away the key.

BlackBerry won't be making any more smartphones.

The Canadian firm announced the news in its quarterly update, with CEO John Chen saying "the company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners."

It's not entirely a surprise, as a move away from hardware has been on the cards for a while as the firm shifts focus entirely to its software, security and back-end solutions – but this isn't the end for the BlackBerry branded smartphones.

Pass the buck

As Chen says, the development of the handsets will be moved to third-party manufacturers – and we've already seen one device come from this new approach in the BlackBerry DTEK50.

Here, Alcatel was drafted in to create the handset which borrows the body from the Idol 4, with BlackBerry layering in its security and privacy knowledge at various stages of production.

Rumors suggest we're close to a second out-sourced BlackBerry phone as well, with numerous leaks pointing to the premium BlackBerry DTEK60 (formerly known as the BlackBerry Argon).

Just how many more of these BlackBerry-badged devices we'll see going forward though is still very much up for debate, but for now it's not quite all over.

BlackBerry phones are dead. Long live BlackBerry phones.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Deputy Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and operating systems. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week (for the highest score on Super Mario Bros using a giant controller), John hasn't looked back since.