BlackBerry moving away from high-end consumer phone market

|About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)|By:, SA News Editor

Chairman/interim CEO John Chen states on BlackBerry's (BBRY -2.4%) FQ3 CC new OEM partner Foxconn, initially focused on low-end/emerging markets phones, will handle most of BlackBerry's phone design work going forward, and that BlackBerry will only design a limited number of high-end, enterprise-focused phones itself.

Chen, who has already suggested BlackBerry will be an enterprise-focused company going forward, says he does hope BlackBerry would be able to design its own high-end consumer phones in the future, but thinks the company needs to focus its resources on enterprise software for now.

One bright spot: BlackBerry says it has added 40M+ registered Android/iOS BBM users since making BBM apps available on the platforms in October. For reference, BlackBerry claimed to have ~60M BBM users on its own devices earlier this year. BlackBerry has promised to eventually monetize Android/iOS users via ads; new value-added services are also a future possibility.

The first BlackBerry/Foxconn phone will be a 3G BB10 device likely to arrive in March or April. BlackBerry still has a sizable emerging markets base, but is also facing very tough competition from low-end Android phones, including sub-$100 products from white-label OEMs.

FQ3 results, details/Foxconn deal, PR