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BlackBerry is prepared to quit making smartphones

BlackBerry hasn’t seen much success since its mid-noughties heyday thanks to the advent of smartphones.

With struggling balance sheets and uninspiring handset sales, BlackBerry might finally be ready to call it quits on the smartphone game.

In an interview, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the company might shutter its smartphone business if its efforts don’t gain traction soon.

“At a certain point in time, the economics take over,” explained the CEO.

In the most recent quarter, BlackBerry’s smartphone turnover fell to $263 million – that’s 31 per cent down year-on-year.

The Bloomberg report reads: “If the current state continues for a long ‘long time’ and drags down the company’s shareholders and balance sheet, it wouldn’t be right to keep going.”

Chen took over BlackBerry over a year and a half ago, and has since gone to great lengths to cut costs in the mobile business.

When he joined, the company’s share of the smartphone market has slumped to less than one per cent.

BlackBerry has developed a number of handsets since Chen joined, including the 1:1 aspect ratio BlackBerry Passport and the keyboard-toting Classic.

Related: Best Android Smartphones 2015

Its next handset is widely tipped to be an Android device – a first for BlackBerry – and is reportedly being developed under the codename ‘Venice’.

Rumours suggest the device will ship with a 5.4-inch QHD display and a Snapdragon 808 processor, putting it squarely in the high-end market.

If you’re in the market for a more tangible handset, check out our smartphone group test video below:

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