Blackberry phones took another step toward the consumer electronics dust bin. The company says that it will stop making the devices that used to be a status symbol for the Hollywood elite, electing instead to outsource manufacturing.
The new strategy will enable Blackberry to “focus all of our efforts on where we can deliver differentiation in software and security” which is “aligned with where the market is going,” CEO John Chen said as the company released Q2 earnings.
Sales fell short of Wall Street forecasts, but Blackberry shares rose 5.7% after the company raised its loss forecast for the fiscal year to at most five cents a share vs analyst expectations for 15 cents.
Some of the improvement is due to what Chen projects as “reasonable savings” from the move to license phone manufacturing to an Indonesian joint venture.
Blackberry was expected to ship 2.4 million phones this year, putting it far behind industry leaders Samsung (324.2 million), Apple (202.5 million), and LG (58.6 million), Macquarie Research projected in June.
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In July, Blackberry said it would stop production of BlackBerry Classic, the last of the smartphones with a physical keyboard it has made since 2003.
Chen also disclosed that CFO James Yersh, who has been at the company since 2008, is leaving “for personal reasons.”
Blackberry’s stock is down 10.2% in 2016, and more than 60% for the last five years.
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