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BlackBerry says it plans to end all internal hardware development, signalling a strategic shift for a company that built its reputation on innovative smartphone technology created at its base in Waterloo, Ontario. (Bebeto Matthews/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
BlackBerry says it plans to end all internal hardware development, signalling a strategic shift for a company that built its reputation on innovative smartphone technology created at its base in Waterloo, Ontario. (Bebeto Matthews/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BlackBerry’s future as software-focused firm still a question mark Add to ...

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With BlackBerry Ltd. finally exiting the smartphone manufacturing business, what’s left? An unclear picture.

First, consider BlackBerry’s financial picture: Smartphone sales – what little remain – accounted for 30 per cent of its $352-million (U.S.) in second-quarter revenue. Monthly fees generated from older phones added up to 26 per cent, an amount that has been steadily dropping (the days when BlackBerry could command payments for using its devices has long past). Both businesses are dying, and the latter has been a big contributor to operating profit. But getting rid of the device business will improve margins and reduce working capital needs.

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