BlackBerry kills operating system after admitting defeat
BlackBerry has admitted defeat in the packed consumer phone market and will no longer make phones featuring its own operating system. There will be no more BB10 handsets produced.
Instead, it will concentrate on establishing itself as a major Android device manufacturer, with an eye on Enterprise rather than consumer handsets.
CEO John Chen said in an interview with The National that BlackBerry will continue to support BB10 for owners of existing devices “for a minimum of two years” but the company will not be utilising the operating system on future devices.
Instead, its next round of hardware releases could well be mid-range Android phones .
Chen revealed that the BlackBerry Priv, the company’s first Android-only smartphone, was too high-end and pricey for its customers.
“The fact that we came out with a high-end phone [as our first Android device] was probably not as wise as it should have been,” he said.
“A lot of enterprise customers have said to us, ‘I want to buy your phone but $700 (#140,000) is a little too steep for me. I’m more interested in a $400 (# 80,000) device’.” He also explained why BlackBerry will concentrate on Android phones for business rather than play.
“We’re the only people who really secure Android, taking the security features of BlackBerry that everyone knows us for and make it more reachable for the market,” he said.
BlackBerry 10 has been on the ropes for a while, with WhatsApp and
Facebook recently withdrawing support for the platform. And even though Chen has constantly denied rumours of its demise, official confirmation does not come as a surprise.