BlackBerry signs manufacturing partnership with Foxconn, will launch a 3G BB10 smartphone in Indonesia by April

Daniel Bader

December 20, 2013 9:01am

Though much of the talk during BlackBerry’s Q3 2014 earnings results centred around the enterprise and plans to build revenue from its growing BBM customer base, a decision that was fostered under former CEO, Thorsten Heins and completed under interim executive, John Chen, may end up saving the company.

After laying off a significant portion of its designing and engineering team in Waterloo, BlackBerry has decided to offload its future handset design and manufacturing to Apple and Microsoft partner, Foxconn. The agreement, which lasts for five years, will remove much of the inventory and supply chain strain from BlackBerry itself, eliminating the possibility of the kind of write-downs that contributed to a $1 billion loss last quarter. The initial focus will be on the developing market and countries where BlackBerry has strong penetration; Indonesia will be the first market to profit from the new venture with a 3G-only BlackBerry 10 phone, codenamed Jakarta, launched sometime in March or April.

Going forward, BlackBerry will take advantage of the freed-up design space in Waterloo to focus on the enterprise and designing great software; though the first raft of BB10 devices were seen to have adequate hardware, BlackBerry lacks the buying power of Apple or the vertical integration of Samsung, leaving them behind the times in both product design and hardware specs.

Foxconn is a controversial company, though, which has been accused in the past of providing terrible working conditions to its employees, and using underage workers in its factories. While Apple has taken steps to ensure Foxconn cracks down on such practices, BlackBerry was always considered a more virtuous handset manufacturer, engaging facilities in Canada and Mexico for most of its work. Future BlackBerry devices will be manufactured by Foxconn at facilities in Indonesia and Mexico, and the “initial focus of the [Foxconn] partnership will be a smartphone for Indonesia and other fast-growing markets targeting early 2014.”

Source: Marketwired

  • Canadianman23

    That did not take long for the new Chinese CEO to start moving this Canadian company to the asian markets. Was to be expected though.

    • Matt Z10

      Its to bad they went this way but in all honesty they tried to keep things local by building in Mexico but that clearly hasn’t work. Some people might buy them exclusively so they can sleep at night knowing a child didn’t assemble their device but that market segment isn’t enough (obviously lol). If the idea is cost cutting then this is the way to go really.
      As for ‘moving’ to the Asian markets, its about time. Not being able to penetrate 2 billion people market is a huge problem. This might help get their foot into that shut door for them…might

    • Sam

      I guess most people didn’t see where they said that they already have market penetration in Indonesia.


      That’s exactly what is needed. You would think being made in Canada/Mexico quality control would be better than competitor, but it’s mediocre at best.

      Leave it to the Chinese and South Korean to pump out cheap phones with good quality control.

    • Canadianman23

      Unfortunately all correct. Do not get me wrong I am all for building a product in asia, but I feel once a company does manufacture their products there, we can no longer call them a Canadian company. It clearly states DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE. Which to me says its a Foxconn device with a Blackberry label. Not a Canadian device at all.

    • WalkinOnBottles

      I hate how ignorant some of you guys are when it comes to building products in different countries. You guys take any moment and turn it into Us V. Them situation without taking into account the costs of production, the effects of moving production elsewhere, etc.

      But oh well, can’t educate ignorance.

    • PT

      Mexico is belong to Canada? Where have you been? Clown!

    • alphs22

      Indonesia has always been a stronghold for BB. Blackberries have also been assembled in China and Malaysia.

      Nice try.

    • Canadianman23

      Yes but they have also been assembled in Canada and Mexico, but that will no longer be the case. And according to the article Foxconn will be designing the phones as well. Nice try, but why dont you research first and read the article before commenting.

    • alphs22

      Except that your original comment implies that his decision to move the manufacturing to Taiwan is solely based on the fact that he’s Chinese.

      So the guy you’re talking about (who’s actually American) decides that the company should focus on markets where it thrives. He then decides to contract Foxconn, a company with experience manufacturing the most successful mobile devices in the world (iPods, iPads, iPhones) – a move that would shift the manufacturing closer to said markets and thus cutting costs and making the supply chain more efficient.

      But let’s forget all of that, it must be because he’s Asian!

  • Gerhardt


    GO RIM GO!
    GO ROB FORD GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Martini

      I laughed.

    • gommer strike

      Why do some of you *have* to turn this into a political thing? It
      isn’t. It’s just Blackberry trying to trim the fat and doing whatever
      it takes to be competitive. One of these tough decisions, is moving the
      build over to Foxconn – even if it represents cost savings of only $10 –
      $15 per phone(and that’s conservatively speaking).

      And sigh, no it’s not a “chinese” thing. How ignorant are some of you?

    • Bbrysucks

      Lol. At least one other person sees the real problems here. Lol

  • WarRaven

    This will compete with $150 Wp phones and new low cost androids, good luck.
    You’ll need it and some serious help.
    Money out the window.

    • J-Ro

      I think they plan on making it at that cost point. This and the Moto G will be the phones to watch for.

    • Bbrysucks

      No one will be watching for this or any phone from these guys anymore. Give your head a shake.

  • Realista

    wow… all these wrong decisions and they are still standing… impressive

  • PT

    “Learn proper English you clown”

    That said it all… Clown!

  • amar

    if foxconn makes iphones then what apple engineers and workers does for ther iphones?