BlackBerry cancels two low-cost phones, set to launch third in April: Report

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BlackBerry has been struggling to keep pace in the increasingly competitive global smartphone market, and recently reported a massive $4.4 billion loss in the third quarter, with a 56 percent drop in revenue.

Now, a new report by Wall Street Journal has revealed that the Canadian handset maker has cancelled plans to launch two low-cost phones, believed to have been codenamed Café and Kopi. The report cites BlackBerry’s US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing and notes that the company made the decision to “cancel plans to launch two devices to mitigate the identified inventory risk.”

We’d noted this cancellation statement in the SEC filing in our previous report. However, the WSJ report claims to identify the two cancelled devices, the Café and Kopi, as affordable BlackBerry phones targeted at emerging markets. The report said that the timing of the intended launch was not clear.

In addition, BlackBerry’s interim chief executive, John Chen has revealed that the manufacturing of thelow-cost BlackBerry phones will be taken over by Foxconn. The report informs that the first phone from the BlackBerry and Foxconn partnership will be nicknamed Jakarta and can be expected to hit markets by April 2014.

The report cites a source and claims that BlackBerry will be continuing to work on its high-end devices and is reportedly working on two such phones, codenamed Ontario and Windermere.

On Monday, BlackBerry’s share prices surged on the Foxconn handset production deal, even though it posted dismal quarterly results. The Hong Kong-listed unit of Taiwan’s Foxconn would initially build low-end devices for sale in Indonesia and other emerging markets, while BlackBerry is said to be expanding the fledgling relationship to its top-of-the-line smartphones.

BlackBerry is also reported to plan more sales incentives to distributors and operators for pushing the sales of its devices, which is expected to result in lower-prices for its handsets based on BB10 and BB7 OS.

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