BlackBerry is now still entrenched in a downturn with no immediate shift in its fortunes, according to recent financial reports issued by the company.
On Tuesday, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer released their earnings for public review.
In them, it was revealed that they only sold a little over a million handsets within the first quarter.
The total reflects a decline from the previous quarter by half a million. BlackBerry also reported lower revenue earnings and $28 million in losses.
The company did see an uptick in their software and patent licensing business, thanks to a deal with Cisco Systems and another unidentified company.
It had been hoped that BlackBerry’s two newest smartphone releases, the Classic and the Passport, would ignite more attention and bring in more users, particularly those in government.
The CEO of the company, John Chen, cited that perhaps the issues regarding the phones was due to paltry marketing and advertising.
On the call to investors in Waterloo, Ontario, Chen stated: “We just need to bring awareness up.”
He remained confident that the company would see a turnaround, and made remarks that they would shift some of their focus from handsets to further software development.
In a recent report, it was disclosed that BlackBerry may now do something unexpected and Android will figure into the latest move by the embattled company.
According to sources close to the Canadian business communications firm, it appears that there are plans to manufacture a new phone handset which will feature Android and not their own operating system.
It’s another step in BlackBerry’s move towards being more productive in terms of mobile device management and software.
Hints towards this initiative were laid down by executives in February.
The new phone is speculated to contain a slider function and a physical keyboard instead of an all-touch format which they returned to in March with the release of their Leap smartphone.
The move also marks the company’s opening up of their messaging service to rival companies.
For BlackBerry, the news is bolstered slightly by their renewed financial fortunes, making more in revenue towards the end of last year than their losses and ending a slide that had been in effect for the last couple of years.
The moves were confirmed this past Saturday in a statement released to industry outlets from BlackBerry themselves.
The letter began: “As we continue executing our plan for BlackBerry’s turnaround, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce.
As the Company moves into its next stage of the turnaround, our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business.” There is no exact number of just how many employees would be released by the company presently.
The news comes months after their CEO, John Chen announced that the company was in the midst of being ahead of schedule on their turnaround at the Mobile World Conference held in Barcelona, Spain.
BlackBerry also declared that they looked to introduce four new devices to the market this year, beginning with the BlackBerry Leap, a touchscreen phone that will valued at $275 on release.
BlackBerry is reporting a profit during its fourth quarter.
CEO John Chen said “Our focus this past year was on getting our financial house in order while creating a multiyear growth strategy and investing in our product portfolio…We now have a very good handle on our margins, and our product road maps have been well received.”
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The SecuTABLET is BlackBerry‘s tablet offering, and with this tablet, the focus is on security.
The result of a collaboration between Secusmart, a BlackBerry subsidiary, and Samsung, the tablet is a reworked Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5.
Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, CEO of Secusmart GmbH, said in a press release “Security is ingrained in every part of BlackBerry’s portfolio, which includes voice and data encryption solutions…National and international government customers have entrusted their voice and data communications with the Secusmart Security Card for years. This same technology is what secures the new SecuTABLET. Working alongside IBM and Samsung, we have added the last link in the chain of the Federal Security Network. Subject to certification of the SecuTABLET, German government agencies will have a new way to access BlackBerry’s most secure and complete communications network in the world.”
“The SecuTABLET closes a supply gap and opens up for government and administrations an opportunity to derive greater benefit from digitization and the mobile Internet, with system integration as a fundamental success factor,” said Stefan Hefter, Senior Management Consultant with IBM. “We have contributed our longstanding expertise as a system integrator for mobile solutions. The technology used to make mobile apps secure by means of so-called wrapping has already proven its worth in the United States.”
BlackBerry announced their new Leap Phone at the Mobile World Congress.
The Leap will come equipped with a touch screen and a battery life of 25 hours.
According to this report, the Leap will be priced at $275 when it launched in Europe this April.
No date has been set for the Leap’s launch in the United States.
The Leap will also have an eight megapixel rear-facing camera and a two megapixel front-facing camera.
In a letter to the United States congress, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that developers who have coded apps for other platforms, such as iOS, Android, and Windows, should be obliged to write apps for BlackBerry as well.
Chen’s ideas were expounded upon within the context of his thoughts pertaining to Net Neutrality.
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BlackBerry is disputing media reports that they have been in acquisition talks with Samsung.
It’s speculated that BlackBerry’s patent holdings make them an attractive purchase target.
It’s been reported that BlackBerry has been offered as much as $7.5 billion, according to unnamed sources.
Here’s BlackBerry’s statement denying the reports:
“BlackBerry Limited is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.”
BlackBerry has reported a drop in revenue for the third-quarter.
The drop was larger than was expected, although a small adjusted profit was reported, and cash flow picked up.
CEO John Chen has recently said that he expected that this drop could happen.
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BlackBerry’s redesign for their Messenger app, for the iPhone 6 and (iPhone ) 6 Plus, provides a “fresh new look and feel” — says the wireless handheld device giant; a screenshot of the iOS 8 update, depicting the new look of the user interface was shown today.