It's the end of an era. BlackBerry is going to stop making its own smartphones.

Instead, the Canadian company will rely entirely on external companies for any future hardware projects, it announced in its quarterly earnings released Wednesday.

BlackBerry was once the undisputed king of the mobile phone world -- but it was caught off-guard by the launch of the iPhone and the dawn of the smartphone era. It never recovered, and has dwindled further and further into irrelevancy ever since.

Its retreat from hardware projects has been on the cards for a while. BlackBerry's most recent phone, the DTEK50, is basically just a reskinned version of the Idol 4 from Alcatel.

And CEO John Chen had said that "if by September, I couldn't find a way to get [to profitability], then I need to seriously consider being a software company only."

Now it's actually happening.

Here's what CEO John Chen said in a statement, emphasis ours:

"Our new Mobility Solutions strategy is showing signs of momentum, including our first major device software licensing agreement with a telecom joint venture in Indonesia. Under this strategy, we are focusing on software development, including security and applications. The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners.This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital."