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BlackBerry calls off 'Live' conference, cancels two low-cost phones

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Blackberry 10 Experience event (STOCK)
Blackberry 10 Experience event (STOCK)

On Friday, BlackBerry delivered its Q3 financial report, and the numbers weren't pretty. But lost inside all that data was yet another worrying development: BlackBerry's current predicament has forced the company to abandon work on two unreleased smartphones. Citing its own sources, The Wall Street Journal claims that the two devices were to be low-cost handsets aimed at emerging markets — likely some of the same regions that are the focus of BlackBerry's new hardware partnership with Foxconn. BlackBerry confirmed that it had canceled launch plans for two unspecified products, a decision it said would "mitigate the identified inventory risk." The Journal notes that "several" higher-end smartphones remain in active development.

BlackBerry also seems to have realized that putting on an expensive conference may not be in its best interest as the company struggles to survive. It's officially called off BlackBerry Live for the coming year, marking the first time the annual event has been cancelled since it began in 2002. Instead, BlackBerry says it will schedule a number of smaller, more targeted events across the globe in 2014. "These events are designed with a greater focus on the specific business, developer, and partner audiences, and will allow you to get the most out of your attendance," the company wrote in a blog post. Moving to a smaller stage should also help BlackBerry cut unnecessary costs. In November, BlackBerry announced the cancellation of its other mega-conference, the developer-focused BlackBerry Jam.