BlackBerry Ltd Gets into Partnership Deal with Foxconn to Develop New Devices for Emerging Markets
BlackBerry Ltd recently posted disappointing quarterly results that translated to a whopping $4.4 billion of losses. However, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer still strives harder to attempt to obtain a much needed turnaround.
The company has entered into an agreement to a manufacturing partnership with Taiwan’s Foxconn. Together, the two smartphone makers would develop and manufacture a main consumer handset, which would primarily target Indonesia, one of the few countries where demand for BlackBerry devices remains strong. This partnership would also eventually cover several other fast-growing mobile markets.
More about Foxconn
This probably is not the first time you hear about Foxconn in the news. The company is more popularly known as a supplier to Apple Inc. It has been frequenting news headlines recently for reported unfair labor practices especially within its Chinese manufacturing facilities.
Earlier this year, Foxconn announced plans to become supplier to other companies aside from Apple. In another report, some of its representatives had disclosed plans to develop and offer to the market brand-name electronics accessories. It also plans to invest into production of software and media content.
BlackBerry and its BBM
For its part, BlackBerry is still in fighting form despite its series of unfortunate events. The current main source of luck for the company is its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service. A couple of months ago, BBM was launched as an app for Android and iOS device users. So far, the app has been downloaded and installed by up to 40 million non-BlackBerry phone users.
BlackBerry has also forged a deal with over a dozen Android phone manufacturers (including LG Electronics) for easier and broader adoption of the service. Based on the agreement, BBM would be pre-loaded on specific Android phones in the near future. Those brands have also agreed to create over 250,000 BBM Channels.
In a statement, BlackBerry CEO and executive chairman John Chen declared that the company has achieved so much in the last 45 days. He reiterated that despite the losses, BlackBerry’s financial strength remains. Mr. Chen is also confident that the company would generate improved financial performance in 2014.
Mr. Chen cited the new leadership team and the talented employee base for his confidence about the future of BlackBerry. He was appointed as CEO in November following the ouster of former CEO Thorstein Heins, who had been taking most of the blame for the company’s recent lame performance.