BlackBerry finally puts handset division out of its misery

As the indignity of its descent into incontinence and senility became insufferable BlackBerry was finally forced to confront reality and do what everyone else knew had to be done.

The BlackBerry handset division has been taken on the last, one-way trip to the vet to be put out of its misery. After decades of faithful service to its parent company the once star division became reduced to a withered husk of its former self, capable of little more than arthritic pacing and plaintive, rheumy stares of bewilderment. It was the kindest thing to do.

As little as ten years ago BlackBerry handsets were what all high flying execs and cool kids used. The tiny keyboards were a blur of thumbs as people emailed and BBMed to their hearts’ content. Then Apple and Android came along with their groovy apps and fancy-pants UIs and suddenly nobody wanted to play with poor old BB anymore.

Late last year BB thought that if it dressed up as an Android phone then, just maybe, people would love it again but nobody was fooled. The amputation of its keyboard was the final straw.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen tried to break the news gently to shareholders for whom the handset division had been a central part of their childhood. “We are reaching an inflection point with our strategy. Our financial foundation is strong, and our pivot to software is taking hold,” he said.

“Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia. Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications.

The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

Spare a thought for the rest of the BlackBerry family – BBM, QNX and BES – at this difficult time and let’s reflect on all the good times we spent with BB.

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