Celestica, one of the main manufacturing partners responsible for Research In Motion's BlackBerry devices, has announced that they will wind down production of the devices by the end of the year. The changes are coming as the struggling RIM is in the midst of changing its focus and supply chain strategy.
Toronto-based Celestica has been one of the primary makers of BlackBerry products for several years. The wind down process is expected to take 3-6 months. The company said that it will make more details available during its second quarter earnings call, which is scheduled for July 27th.
RIM, once the undisputed king of the smartphone hill, has been struggling severely over the last few years. Back in March they released their earnings report for the fourth quarter of the 2011 fiscal year, and the news was pretty bad. Revenue was down 7% for the year, and 25% for the quarter. As part of that report they announced the departure of several executives (who were followed by more later).
They also announced changes to their strategy for the BlackBerry line. Moving forward, they plan to focus more exclusively business customers rather than the average consumer. This led many to conclude that they were abandoning the consumer market altogether. RIM denied this, insisting that they were actually focusing on a very particular segment of the consumer market - business people who supply their own devices for work.
At any rate, it appears that this refocusing of RIM's attention with the BlackBerry will mean fewer devices being made. It also means that businesses that depend on RIM for their revenues should start considering other sources of income, just in case.