BlackBerry sank deeper into a jam in the most recent quarter, posting a staggering $4.4 billion loss for the three months ended Nov. 30, 2013, as the company's sales continued to crater.
Separately, BlackBerry announced a five-year outsourced manufacturing contract with Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group. The pact will initially focus on producing smartphones for Indonesia and other emerging markets.
The quarterly net loss included charges of $4.6 billion associated with write-downs of long-term assets, inventory and supply commitments as well as previously announced restructuring under which BlackBerry is cutting 4,500 jobs or 40% of its workforce. Excluding charges, BlackBerry reported $354 million adjusted loss from continuing operations for the third quarter.
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BlackBerry, established in 1999 as Research in Motion, was a successful pioneer in smart mobile devices. But the Canadian company has been unable to compete with Apple's iPhone and the app ecosystem it established, and the rise of phones running Google's Android operating system put another huge dent in BlackBerry's market share.
The "most immediate challenge for the company is how to transition the devices operations to a more profitable business model," John Chen, executive chairman and interim CEO of BlackBerry, said in announcing the results.
This fall, BlackBerry sought to go private in a $4.7 billion deal with a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings. But last month the company was forced to abandoned the plan, with Fairfax and others investing $1 billion in BlackBerry instead. The company ousted CEO Thorsten Heins and hired Chen, formerly CEO of database software vendor Sybase, as interim chief.
Chen said the Foxconn partnership "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."
Under the partnership, Foxconn will manufacture products for BlackBerry at facilities in Indonesia and Mexico.