BlackBerry Teams With Foxconn, Announces $4.4B Loss
Part of BlackBerry's plan for turning things around is letting Foxconn take on major design, manufacturing, inventory and logistics responsibilities.BlackBerry announced a $4.4 billion loss for its fiscal 2014 third quarter, which ended Nov. 30. But, under new CEO John Chen, it also began to share its strategy for bringing the business back to profits. Part of that strategy is a five-year deal with Foxconn, which will jointly design and manufacture devices with BlackBerry, as well as manage BlackBerry's device inventory and the logistics of its supply chains. Foxconn will develop and manufacture the new BlackBerry smartphones in its facilities in Mexico and Indonesia, and BlackBerry will own all of its intellectual property and perform product assurance checks on all devices, it said, as it currently does with all third-party manufacturers. "Going forward, we have a reasonable plan," Chen said on the company's Dec. 20 earnings call. "We have a clean balance sheet, we're strong in cash, we're no longer worried about whether we're going to be around [in the future]. We have some areas to beef up ... but we've taken away the biggest chokehold of the last few years and we're ready to fight back." Chen added that, "for the foreseeable future," BlackBerry designers in North America will focus on enterprise-focused handsets for North America only. ("That's not to say we won't focus more on consumer devices later," he added.) Foxconn will work on designing smartphones for identified emerging markets—Indonesia is one of them—with the first phone coming out in the March-April time frame.
"I already have one in my hand right now," Chen said, suggesting how far along in the process the plan is.