BlackBerry Announces Surprise Partnership with Foxconn To Build Low-End Consumer Phone
Charges are really hurting its bottom line, with a non-cash, pre-tax charge amount of $4.6 billion "associated with long-lived assets, inventory and supply commitments, and previously announced restructuring and strategic review process." That's essentially saying that BlackBerry has phones that it realizes it'll never sell, so they're being written down as next to useless.
Despite all of the awful cash news, some interesting points are tucked away in the release. For example, QNX is set to reveal "new technology in automotive and cloud services at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in January," where BlackBerry may start to make up some revenue in the automotive market. Plus, there has been over 40 million newly registered iOS/Android users in the last 60 days; more than a dozen Android OEMs to preload BBM, including most recently LG; and over 250,000 BBM Channels created by global user base since launch of BBM Channels on BlackBerry.
Beyond all of that, one more point struck our interest: the company has struck a joint device development and manufacturing agreement with Foxconn, with the initial focus being the "development of a consumer smartphone for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets in early 2014." What's curious about this is that we'd heard prior that BlackBerry was largely looking to exit the rough and competitive consumer market, but then again, BlackBerry units have traditionally sold well in emerging markets -- it looks as if the company is giving that one more shot.
It's tough to say what kind of product it'll be, and if it's successful enough, it may even make its way to U.S. shores. Whatever the case, it feels like this may truly be BlackBerry's final play. There just can't be much gas left in the tank at this stage.