BlackBerry posts bigger-than-expected loss, shares slump

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BlackBerry Confirms Android-Based Priv Smartphone.

As expected, the upcoming device will be called Priv—shortened from “privacy”—and features a screen that slopes down on either side (think Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge). “Today, I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.” The announcement comes as no surprise, following a number of leaks, the most recent from Internet tipster @evleaks, who tweeted the “Priv” name on Thursday.BlackBerry announced its fiscal second quarter financials on Friday, during which it revealed bigger than expected losses as its smartphone sales continue to falter, with the firm shifting just 0.8 million during the three-month period.

Last month, Vietnam-based Ba Minh Duc posted to his Facebook page a device he claimed is the BlackBerry Priv; local news outlet Tinhte also showed more photos, highlighting the device’s rough backplate and slide-out keyboard. While the decision appeared to be an admission of defeat for the BlackBerry 10, the company said it was still proceeding with an update for its own software as well. The Canadian company stated in its Q2 report that it is “focused on making faster progress to achieve profitability in our handset business,” before finally confirming the launch of “Priv,” a name that was first rumored earlier this week.

The Canadian smartphone company reported $51 million (U.S.) of net income for the three months ended Aug. 29, which was an improvement on the net loss of $207 million (U.S.) a year ago, and positive cash flow. We assume this is a play on the word ‘privacy’ given the company’s enterprise security credentials, but this is an assumption that our brain has overridden given that it’s also another word for ‘toilet’, sort of. The announcement came as the company released a larger-than-expected loss of $66 million, excluding accounting adjustments, or 13 cents a share for its second quarter.

In fact, Chen admitted during a Friday earning call that he “jumped the gun” with today’s announcement, which was made because the phone was “leaking everywhere.” “We’re confirming the fact that we are bringing our security know-how to the Android ecosystem,” he said, adding that the company is working with major carriers to determine pricing and a distribution timeline. In today’s hectic world, where cyber threats are real for everyone, BlackBerry is making sure that our products invoke this mantra that your privacy is your privilege. With BlackBerry already supporting Android devices though its enterprise-focused BES12 security platform, the company says the new Android smartphone will be tailored for the business community with security in mind.

Fueling rumors of a possible Android device, BlackBerry recently announced a partnership with Google to “set new standards in enterprise mobile security for organizations deploying Android devices.” The companies are integrating BlackBerry’s BES12 security software with Google’s Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and Google Play for Work. BlackBerry is no doubt hoping that the Priv, which has been the subject of online rumours for months, will persuade iOS and Android users to dump their current smartphones so that it can boost its current 0.3 share of the global smartphone market.

However, with Android and iOS claiming 82.2 percent and 14.6 percent of the market respectively, it’s unlikely to find itself in the number one, or even number two, spot anytime soon. Today’s confirmation comes as another former mobile phone giant is rumored to be working on new Android devices — photos purported to be of a new Nokia C1 Android phone emerged earlier this month. There will be a camp that reacts to this news with surprise, while others will see how, over the past two years, we’ve laid the groundwork to make this possible.

The remaining 43 percent came from monthly fees generated by older generations of BlackBerry phones for services on the company’s proprietary network. It began with honing in on our DNA of security, privacy and productivity, and then bringing that heritage and continued innovation to other operating systems.

The sources both say hundreds of additional jobs have been quietly shed over the summer, affecting offices in Ottawa and BlackBerry headquarters in Waterloo, in particular. The company, which confirmed some job reductions earlier this summer but refused to disclose numbers, declined late Thursday to say how many jobs were part of more recent cuts. BlackBerry said it had 6,225 full-time global employees as of Feb. 28, its most recent filing with regulators, but those employee numbers are likely much lower after various other waves of cuts throughout its international operations this year. And we are advancing our own platform, redefining the expectations of mobility in today’s age of risk and cybercrime so that we can serve customers even better.

At the same time, I want to be clear: fans of BlackBerry’s workhorse BlackBerry 10 smartphones can continue to depend on us, and we appreciate their commitment. There is continued demand for our flagship BlackBerry 10 devices like BlackBerry Passport and Classic by consumers, enterprises and regulated industries. Combined with BlackBerry’s support of Android for Work on our BES12 platform, the new device will offer best-in-class security for enterprise customers.

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