BlackBerry cancels BlackBerry Live 2014 and entry-level smartphone duo

BlackBerry cancels BlackBerry Live 2014 and entry-level smartphone duoIt's been a topsy-turvy couple of months for BlackBerry, and while it's still just about standing, the future is far from certain up Waterloo, Ontario way.

That may change in time, but for the time being BlackBerry fans will have to accept that things are going to be tough and cost-cutting is going to be the name of the game.

To that end, BlackBerry has announced it won't be holding its annual BlackBerry Live event in 2014, and also says it has scrapped a pair of upcoming BlackBerry 10 handsets – codenamed the Cafe and Kopi – that were reportedly destined for emerging markets.

BlackBerry cites “inventory risk” as the main reason for the decision – in other words, stepping out of its relative comfort zone to tackle the low end of the smartphone market with low-margin devices and no guarantee of high sales is a risk BlackBerry just isn't willing to take.

It's a sensible move, really, and indicates new CEO John Chen is determined to at least try to plot a course out of BlackBerry's current predicament.

It follows an announcement late last week that the company has signed a five-year strategic partnership with Chinese electronics giant Foxconn to produce future BlackBerry handsets.

The move is expected to bear fruit in the form of a low-end device codenamed Jakarta that will be introduced in Indonesia and other emerging markets next year.

It's not clear how similar the Jakarta will be to the now-cancelled Cafe and Kopi, or how much of a role its addition to BlackBerry's roadmap has played in the disappearance of the other two.

BlackBerry Live has become an annual institution for BlackBerry followers, and has been a permanent fixture on the mobile calender since the inaugural event in 2002.

BlackBerry says it plans instead to hold a series of “smaller, targeted events” around the globe over the next 12 months.

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4 comments

MERRYCHRISTMAS247  Dec. 24, 2013 at 22:55

THERE'S NOTHING INNOVATIVE ABOUT THE DAMN COMPANY SINCE 2009!

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 25, 2013 at 12:02

THERE'S NOTHING INNOVATIVE ABOUT THE DAMN COMPANY SINCE 2009!

I was going to object to this... but I'm afraid you're right.
I'd maintain some of their handsets still have a place in the market, but then BB's pricing gets in the way. imho they shouldn't have wasted resources and time on BB10. They could have
worked with BB7 - it wasn't fundamentally flawed. But BB made it flawed: launched late, they broke its theming engine, to then immediately announce BB10 with the funny bonus: "no, your £500+ BB7 device won't ever get BB10! " How nice. Really encouraging.

With hindsight (this pains me...) Heins was probably a worse CEO than Elop.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 26, 2013 at 17:22

Heins was probably a worse CEO than Elop.
That's a given.

Elop was only ever at Nokia to soften them up for a M$ takeover, which he did a damn good job of, seeing as M$ have pretty much taken over Nokia. Heins was actually meant to be running a successful, profitable business, which he did an awful job of, seeing as BB are pretty much broke.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 26, 2013 at 23:58

True.

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