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

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

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.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.