Blackberry shares surge after handset exit


Blackberry on Friday reported losses worth US$4.4bn for its third quarter ending in November, but shares rose 15% in trading as investors cheered its exit from handset manufacturing. The struggling Canadian smartphone pioneer posted losses totalling $965m in the second quarter. The five-year manufacturing deal with Foxconn will help the company avoid future writedowns on unsold handsets. In return Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturing giant which also makes devices for Apple and other leading companies, will get a share of the device sales price for managing inventory. Intense competition from Apple’s iPhone and Android and Windows smartphones are the source of its woes, with many Blackberry customers switching the other brands. Blackberry is aiming its next device, to be called the Jakarta, at emerging markets. It will be made in Foxconn factories in Indonesia and Mexico. Having made a solid impact as smartphones first appeared on the market, Blackberry has seen its share of the market decline to less than 3 per cent since the 2007 advent of the iPhone. – SAPA-DPA