BlackBerry Stops Making Phones, To Focus On Software

It’s official. BlackBerry, the Canadian company that invented the smartphone and addicted legions of road warriors to the “crackberry,” has stopped making its iconic handsets.

Finally conceding defeat in a battle it had long ago lost toApple and Samsung Electronics. It is handing over production of the phones to overseas partners while it turns its full attention to the more profitable and growing software business.

blackberryImportant milestones:

  • Feb 1985: Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin co-found Research In Motion as an electronics and computer science business
  • 1992: Jim Balsillie joins RIM as co-CEO, mortgaging his house and investing $250,000
  • Jan 1999: RIM launches rebranded BlackBerry email service across North America, with a first wireless device to sync with corporate email systems. Sales jump 80%
  • Late 1999: The company lists its shares on Nasdaq. RIM introduces BlackBerry 850, with wireless data networks and a traditional “Qwerty” keyboard. Demand explodes
  • Oct 10-13,’11: Millions of BlackBerry users on five continents are left without the Internet by a massive failure of RIM’s infrastructure
  • Jan 22,’12: Lazaridis and Balsillie step down from their shared roles as chief executives and chairmen
  • Sep 24,’12: RIM’s Toronto-listed stock touches C$6.10, its lowest level
  • Jan’13: BlackBerry 10 launched and company renamed as BlackBerry
  • Sep 2016: Company says will stop making phones

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