Blackberrry today announced that it will no longer be producing their iconic smartphones in-house. It's a big leap for the once market-leading global technology company. Blackberry have manufactured their smartphones from their Ontario-based facility for the last 14 years. As usual, financial viability is behind the decision. Blackberry have faced repeated calls in the past to stop manufacturing hardware, and now they've taken note at last.

Blackberry To Outsource Globally

As Blackberry CEO, John Chen, explained to BNN, "We have decided to discontinue all the handset hardware development, only hardware." He added that changing the Blackberry business model was the only way that the company could keep the iconic handset and still turn a profit.

All hardware development will be discontinued by the end of February 2017. Instead, the production of handsets will be outsourced to manufacturing companies outside Canada. These companies will be licensed to use the Blackberry brand and technology, and will pay royalties. One or two products are already licensed to partners. These include BB Merah Putih, who will manufacture and distribute Blackberry smartphones throughout Indonesia. Blackberry hopes to save costs by not carrying inventory, and also by cutting staff in areas of logistics and repair. By focusing on software and security products, the company hopes to regain the market share it has lost to its major rivals, Apple and Samsung.

Blackberry smartphones used to be run on the company's home-built BB-10 OS. Recently, the company released handsets - the Priv, and DTEK50 - that work on the Android operating system.

Priv - The Last Blackberry Smartphone?

After the recent announcement by John Chen, the Priv must surely go down as Blackberry's last major Smartphone design.

Launched in November 2015, it has two classic Blackberry design features: the sliding screen and full keyboard. After nearly a year on the market, it has failed to rekindle Blackberry's glory years. Perhaps John Chen's hardware outsourcing strategy will change the company's fortunes instead.