BlackBerry to Aim 2 Smartphones at Midrange Buyers to Spur Sales
BlackBerry's business has been changing in the marketplace as Chen continues to transform the company into a security software firm to find new revenue growth as its hardware business continues to shrink. He has said in the past that if the company's smartphones don't succeed on their own that he would be willing to drop its hardware lines and focus on software to keep the company in business. In March Facebook announced that it will drop support for its stand-alone app for the BlackBerry 10 operating system due to the platform's small market share, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Facebook users will still be able to access the app on BlackBerry devices using a Web browser or a Web Wrapper app. Facebook's decision came about three weeks after WhatsApp, also owned by Facebook, announced that it will end support for BlackBerry, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.2 and 2.1, and Windows Phone 7.1 mobile operating systems by the end of 2016 as the user bases for the platforms continued to shrink. BlackBerry's fall from dominating the enterprise smartphone market has been swift and stunning. In early 2006, before the first iPhones appeared from Apple, half of all smartphones sold were BlackBerry models. By 2009, though, its share of the global smartphone market was down to 20 percent. The company continues to face growing competition from Apple, Samsung, Google and others.