BlackBerry is one of the fastest-growing smartphone brands in the world, but it’s also one of its most difficult.
The company has spent decades building up a reputation as a leader in hardware, and now it’s trying to reinvent itself.
In a bid to reinvent, it’s investing $1 billion to build its first ever mobile phone factory in Canada, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The factory will build up to 30,000 phones a year for the first three years, and then expand to 100,000 devices in five years.
The factory will be in Vaughan, Ontario, and will employ 50 people.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said the goal is to make the first BlackBerry smartphone in Canada by 2020.
The Canadian company already has a manufacturing plant in the United States, but the plant will be located in Canada and the phones will be made in Canada.
The move will help BlackBerry gain a foothold in a market that is growing rapidly in Canada as smartphone adoption increases, said Marc Rotenberg, research director at research firm Gartner.
The new plant will help the company better position itself to become more competitive in the country as smartphones are becoming increasingly affordable, he said.
The plant, called BlackBerry World, will be built in Vaughan and employ 50 workers, including 20 from BlackBerry Canada, the company said.
Heins has said the factory will begin operating in the first quarter of 2020, which is when BlackBerry expects to introduce its first consumer-grade BlackBerry 10 device, which will feature a curved display.
BlackBerry has been making Android phones since 2012.
The company is also moving into the wearable space, with plans to launch its first smartwatch later this year.
The first smart watch will launch at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.