BlackBerry smartphone sales retreat as it confirms Android phone

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

BlackBerry Ltd misses expectations on revenue and earnings.

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. In its second quarter financial results, BlackBerry said it “plans to launch a flagship handheld device that will run on the Android operating system with BlackBerry security.” Originally rumored to be called the BlackBerry Venice, sporting a BlackBerry-esque sliding keyboard (H/T evleaks), the Canadian company stated in its Q2 report that it is “focused on making faster progress to achieve profitability in our handset business,” before confirming the launch of “Priv,” a name that was first rumored earlier this week.

On the positive side, the Waterloo-based smartphone maker did report US$51 million of net income, which was an improvement on the year-earlier net loss of US$207 million, as well as US$100 million of positive cash flow. 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. But on the adjusted basis that’s followed by most analysts, BlackBerry had a loss of US$66 million or 13 cents per share — deeper than the nine cents per share that had been estimated. 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 ”, sort of.

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. BlackBerry CEO John Chen, said, “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. Over the past few weeks, those reductions have centred on deep cuts to its hardware development and manufacturing business as it puts a lower priority on smartphone development, according to two sources who were familiar with the cuts. 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.

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. 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. 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.

Recent leaks also point to an 18MP rear-facing camera, a 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM and a ‘near stock’ version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. The remaining 43 percent came from monthly fees generated by older generations of BlackBerry phones for services on the company’s proprietary network. You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you.

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