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BlackBerry might finally stop making phones

Published Oct 9th, 2015 1:21PM EDT
BlackBerry Smartphone Business 2016 Deadline

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The day of reckoning is almost here for BlackBerry fans still clinging to their BlackBerry 10 devices. Per VentureBeat, BlackBerry CEO John Chen told the Code Mobile conference this week that the company is planning to merge BlackBerry 10 with Android in the near future, while saying that he’ll maintain BlackBerry 10 for at least another year presuming the shift over to Android goes as planned. The idea behind the BB 10-Android merger is to bring all of BlackBerry’s top security features over to Android, which would presumably make Android more attractive to enterprise customers.

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Weirdly, however, Chen said that phones with this BlackBerry 10-Android combination wouldn’t be the most secure Android phones on the market.

“The [only] other phone that can claim that their security is better than us is the Blackphone,” Chen told Code Mobile.

This is particularly strange since BlackBerry last year slammed the Blackphone for having “consumer-grade privacy that’s inadequate for businesses.”

Chen also told Code Mobile that the company would consider exiting the handset business all together if it’s not profitable by next year. The company told The Verge that it hopes to sell 5 million phones a year to maintain the handset business’s profitability.

While 5 million phones a year doesn’t seem like a lot, it could be a major challenge for the once-mighty smartphone pioneer. Last quarter, BlackBerry recognized hardware revenue on just 800,000 smartphones sold on the quarter with an average selling price of $240. If BlackBerry continues to sell just 800,000 phones per quarter, that would work out to 3.2 million phones sold a year, well short of the company’s goal.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.