John Chen says halting phone production could be a possibility as BlackBerry turns its focus to other areas
The smartphone industry could be about to lose another of its most iconic names after BlackBerry’s CEO hinted the company might stop manufacturing devices as part of its ongoing recovery strategy.
John Chen said that the Canadian manufacturer would be dramatically downsizing its device portfolio going forward as it looks to focus on other areas of the business.
This would mean only producing one or two devices a year, despite claims earlier in the year that it would release four smartphones in 2015.
“We are reducing jobs, but it is not so much as reducing; we are shifting it, so we are taking a lot of the hardware, hence that traditionally we make four phones a year or design, made, manufactured, whatever. We are not going to do that anymore. We are going to at least cut it down a lot; maybe two, maybe one, but not so many,” Chen told Fox Business.
Since launching the fully touchscreen BlackBerry Leap at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, speculaion has been rife about what mobile devices the company will offer next.
The smart money appears to be on an Android-powered smartphone, with the rumoured BlackBerry Venice said to be near ready for release.
However some sources have claimed that BlackBerry has as many as four new devices up its sleeve, including a follow-up to the business-focused Passport phablet and a new offering in its partnership with sports car maker Porsche.
The company’s recent purchase of two Android-related domain names, ‘AndroidSecured.com’ and ‘AndroidSecured.net’, has also increased hopes that new devices will be on the way soon.
BlackBerry confirmed earlier this week that it would be cutting jobs as part of its lengthy restructuring process, having also announced a previous round of layoffs back in May.
Think you’re a BlackBerry expert? Take our quiz!