Coinciding with today's BlackBerry earnings report, the company has also announced a strategic partnership with Foxconn on the manufacturing of BlackBerry devices.
This is big news for a couple reasons. One, it really shows that BlackBerry under the management of new CEO John Chen is definitely committed to building new BlackBerry phones. For many months there has been a feeling (for lack of a better word) that BlackBerry could be shedding its hardware business to only focus software. It's also further evidence that BlackBerry is in it for the long haul - John Chen isn't just looking to flip the business. This lines up with what the new CEO told us during our Q&A with him shortly after his appointment.
The first new BlackBerry device coming out of the Foxconn partnership will be a low-cost smartphone targeting Indonesia and other fast-growing markets.
Read the press release below, and we'll follow up soon with more on what it all means.
BlackBerry Announces Five-Year Strategic Partnership With Foxconn
Companies Strike Joint Development and Manufacturing Agreement
Indonesia Targeted for First Joint Product in Early 2014
WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2013) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in wireless innovation, announced today that it has entered into a five-year strategic partnership with Foxconn, the world's largest manufacturer of electronic products and components. The initial focus of the partnership will be a smartphone for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets targeting early 2014.
"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."
Under the partnership, Foxconn will manufacture products for BlackBerry at facilities in Indonesia and Mexico. BlackBerry will own all of its intellectual property and perform product assurance on devices through the Foxconn partnership, as it does currently with all third-party manufacturers.
"BlackBerry is an iconic brand with great technology and a loyal international fan base," said Terry Gou, Founder and Chairman, Foxconn. "We are pleased to be working with BlackBerry as it positions itself for future growth and we look forward to a successful strategic partnership in which Foxconn will jointly develop and manufacture new BlackBerry devices in both Indonesia and Mexico for new and existing markets."
BlackBerry will focus heavily, via internal development, on market segments where its continuous innovations in secure hardware, software and services remain critical and integral to enterprise and government customers. BlackBerry will also drive adoption of its multi-platform BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), deliver real-time, reliable and secure messaging through its Network Operations Center (NOC), and grow its enterprise mobility and mobile device management business through on-premise and cloud-based solutions for cross-platform devices as well as its own.