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BlackBerry CEO John Chen shows off the Passport device at its 2014 launch in Toronto, a device that Jason Griffin says was a move in the right direction for the company. (Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
BlackBerry CEO John Chen shows off the Passport device at its 2014 launch in Toronto, a device that Jason Griffin says was a move in the right direction for the company. (Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

When BlackBerry really gave up on hardware, according to its ex-design chief Add to ...

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For Jason Griffin, BlackBerry Ltd.’s decision this week to stop building smartphones came as little surprise.

Mr. Griffin, who worked for BlackBerry in a number of hardware design roles between 1996 and 2014, characterizes BlackBerry’s long turnaround effort as “a lost opportunity.”

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company announced Wednesday that it would no longer manufacture its eponymous device. Instead, the smartphones will be built only through joint ventures or licensing arrangements.

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