Despite the release of a highly anticipated new line of phones, BlackBerry posted another loss for the latest quarter. In the first full quarter of sales after the release of new models, BlackBerry reported that it shipped 6.8 million phones but only around 2.7 million were of the new models. This is disappointing because Apple sells as many iPhones in a week as BlackBerry 10s were shipped over the entire three-month period. After revealing the early shipping figures of its new phone, the company’s share price plummeted nearly 28 percent.
When Thorsten Heins, the president and chief executive of BlackBerry, announced a delay in the introduction of the new line last year, some analysts told him that the company was “finished.” He insisted that the company would survive and that they just needed time to get the devices right before release. Anil Doradla, an analyst with William Blair & Company, said, “For many, going into these earnings, it was seen as the end of the new beginning. Now, coming out of the earnings, it looks like the beginning of the end.”
BlackBerry reported an unexpected $84 million loss for the quarter. Revenue was $3.07 billion, which was lower than analysts’ estimates but 15 percent higher than the $2.8 billion in revenue reported for the same quarter a year ago. The company expects to record further losses this year.
Regarding BlackBerry 10’s reception by customers, Mr. Heins said, “We’re only five months in,” and added that not all BlackBerry 10 models were available in all markets during the quarter. The company is planning to increase spending on BlackBerry 10 promotion and advertising. The company is also planning to expand its software business. Mr. Heins said, “There’s more to come, more exciting products to come.”
Mr. Heins again asked for time and a chance for the BlackBerry 10 to prove itself, but time may be short for the company. It was not that long ago that BlackBerry was a dominant force in smartphone sales, but Apple’s iPhone quickly eroded BlackBerry’s position. Today, BlackBerry’s United States’ market share stands at about 0.9 percent.