In Brief

Blackberry to stop producing mobile phones

Company announced a loss of £ in the last quarter, as phone sales continue to slump

Blackberry has announced it will stop designing its own smartphones.

Once a market leader, the company has struggled to keep pace with rivals and as a result has said it is going to focus on creating software for mobile phones and outsource the brand to other manufacturers.

Ben Wood, of CCS Insight consultancy, says: "Blackberry can't keep producing its own phones indefinitely just to serve a small subset of its clients addicted to its home-grown devices."

Blackberry has struggled in recent years as first Apple took a stranglehold on the smartphone sector and then handsets operating on Google's Android platform, especially the likes of Samsung, proved hugely popular.

In the last quarter, Blackberry reported losses of $372m (£286m), compared with a profit of $51m (£39m) in the same period last year. However, even this was a long way off its 2010 peak, when it controlled 18.2 per cent of the global smartphone market.

The popularity of BlackBerry Messenger and its high-tech email system "made its phones a smash hit among young users and professionals alike," says the Daily Telegraph "but Apple's iPhone and Google's Android software, with millions of apps and full touchscreens, rendered them obsolete."

A move away from hardware has been on the cards for some years – in 2012, Blackberry announced it was changing its focus from the consumer market to business customers. It has launched several new phones, but failed to stem falling sales.

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