BlackBerry Partners with Foxconn for BB10 Devices
December 20, 2013 10:43 AM
Foxconn will manufacture BlackBerry products in both Indonesia and Mexico
announced today that it would partner with Foxconn and let the Taiwanese electronics assembler take care of hardware while BlackBerry focuses on software.
BlackBerry and Foxconn have signed on for
a five-year partnership
, where Foxconn will manufacture BlackBerry products in both Indonesia and Mexico.
"This partnership demonstrates BlackBerry's commitment to the device market for the long-term and our determination to remain the innovation leader in secure end-to-end mobile solutions," said John Chen, Executive Chair and CEO of BlackBerry. "Partnering with Foxconn allows BlackBerry to focus on what we do best - iconic design, world-class security, software development and enterprise mobility management - while simultaneously addressing fast-growing markets leveraging Foxconn's scale and efficiency that will allow us to compete more effectively."
Chen said the idea behind the partnership is to lower the company's financial risk and to produce better Blackberry 10 (BB10) devices.
BlackBerry will pay Foxconn for the cost of manufacturing directly once costs are set in stone and production ramps up. BlackBerry gets to take in revenue from device sales, and if that revenue surpasses a certain amount, Foxconn gets a slice too.
BlackBerry's designers in North America will focus on enterprise devices while Foxconn will be tasked with creating consumer devices. BlackBerry plans to make devices for both developing and mature markets.
Chen said the first BlackBerry smartphone to come from Foxconn will be released in March or April 2014, and it will be a 3G, BB10 device. It will initially launch in Indonesia, but make its way to six or seven other markets later.
Enlisting Foxconn isn't a bad idea, considering BlackBerry has had a few hard financial hits this year. In Q2, it reported
a loss of $965 million
. For Q3, it announced a loss of $4.4 billion, revenue at $1.2 billion (down from $1.6 billion in Q2).
Sales for Q3 weren't pretty, either. BlackBerry only sold 1.9 million handsets for the quarter, dramatically down from 3.7 million in the previous quarter.
In early November, the company
ditched buyout plans
with Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for a $1 billion investment instead, which was given by Fairfax and other institutional investors.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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