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BlackBerry cancels two handset models over fears of unsold stocks news
27 December 2013

BlackBerry sales have fallen so low that the troubled handset maker has actually cancelled two handsets it was developing. The phones codenamed Café and Kopi, and were to be launched in developing markets.

This was revealed by BlackBerry in its earnings report last week. Other news from the report -- like BlackBerry's deal with gadget manufacturing company Foxconn, dominated the headlines immediately following the report (See: BlackBerry to outsource handset production to Foxconn).

In the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, BlackBerry said it made the decision to "cancel plans to launch two devices to mitigate the identified inventory risk". The company wrote off a sum just short of £1 billion in unsold mobiles in the third quarter of the last financial year, and reported a total loss at £2.69 billion.

Meanwhile, not much is known about the devices themselves apart from their code names according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, and that they were low-cost phones aimed at emerging markets.

The report said BlackBerry still had a number of high-end mobiles in the pipeline with devices codenamed Ontario and Windermere are on the way.

Foxconn would make BlackBerry phones  from now on, with its first device, codenamed Jakarta, set for launch in April. According to CEO John Chen, BlackBerry would try to eventually see Foxconn take over all of its hardware production as the company shifted focus to software and services.

According to the report, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company's 'BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app' for Android and iPhone now had over 40 million active users.

The app was still waging an uphill battle, as cross-platform messaging competitors like WhatsApp garnered over 400 million active users.

"This partnership demonstrates BlackBerry's commitment to the device market for the long-term and our determination to remain the innovation leader in secure end-to-end mobile solutions," John Chen, executive chairman and chief executive officer of BlackBerry, said in a press release.

"Partnering with Foxconn allows BlackBerry to focus on what we do best - iconic design, world-class security, software development and enterprise mobility management - while simultaneously addressing fast-growing markets leveraging Foxconn's scale and efficiency that will allow us to compete more effectively."

According to commentators, BlackBerry would need to find a way to attract more users to its platform to compete with the likes of WhatsApp.

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BlackBerry cancels two handset models over fears of unsold stocks