BlackBerry has announced a new five-year partnership with Foxconn to produce affordable devices in future. The company’s interim CEO John Chen has reportedly revealed that BlackBerry’s first smartphone from Foxconn is likely to be launched in March or April 2014. Techcrunch reports that this will be a 3G-enabled device with BlackBerry 10 OS on-board, and will first be introduced in Indonesia, followed by six or seven other important markets for the company. And though there is no mention of its launch in India, considering that India has been among the important markets for BlackBerry might as well launch it in India later in the first half of the year.
The main reason behind the Foxconn manufactured phones is that the struggling Canadian company wants to cut down the overall finances and risks involved, while also producing affordable or mid range and better BB10-based devices, Chen said, according to the report. This will help the company in competing against the global players like Google’s Motorola which has aggressively priced its smartphones.
While BlackBerry will still be owning the software and related IPR, Foxconn will only get the manufacturing bit and work on the hardware of the devices, which will happen in the company’s units in Mexico and Indonesia.
Apart from the smartphones produced under this deal with Foxconn, BlackBerry’s own developers will focus on the company’s high end, enterprise handsets for developed markets. “For the foreseeable future, in North America, our designers will focus on enterprise handsets only…Most of all I’m going to depend on Foxconn for consumer devices,” Chen told the publication.
On the revenue sharing bit, the companies agree on the point that while BlackBerry will keep the revenues generated through these cheaper devices produces by Foxconn, the latter will only get a portion of the revenue, if the revenues from sales exceed a certain amount.