The 'CrackBerry' Era Is Officially Over

BlackBerry stops making phones, focuses on software
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2016 1:13 PM CDT
BlackBerry Will No Longer Make Phones
BlackBerry will no longer be making phones. Sorry, Hillary.   (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)

It's something Hillary Clinton now probably wishes happened years ago, but on Wednesday BlackBerry announced it would no longer be making phones. Bloomberg reports the company that basically invented the smartphone with its BlackBerry 850 in 1999 got disastrously outpaced by Apple and Samsung in the new millennium. CNN points out that even Microsoft's disappointing Windows Phones currently outsell BlackBerries, which were so popular at their height that people nicknamed them "CrackBerries." Known for their security, BlackBerries were once used by everyone from Kim Kardashian to President Obama. But even the US Senate finally stopped using them last summer, USA Today reports. The company once worth $80 billion is now estimated at just $4.3 billion.

Now, in an attempt to claw back to profitability, BlackBerry will be outsourcing the manufacturing of BlackBerry-branded phones to an Indonesian company, with manufacturers in China and India likely to follow. BlackBerry CEO John Chen says the company will "pivot to software." With Wednesday's announcement, BlackBerry stocks rose more than 3%. Ironically, Chen says BlackBerry phone sales—recently just 1% of iPhone sales—may increase with this move, as they remain popular in places like South Africa, Nigeria, and Indonesia. It's also possible BlackBerry is eying a sale. (More BlackBerry stories.)

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