BlackBerry 10 launch can’t prevent Canadian manufacturer from posting loss
BlackBerry posted an $84 million (£55m) loss in the first quarter of its fiscal 2014, a period which saw the continued rollout of smartphones running the BlackBerry 10 operating system.
The Canadian manufacturer sold 6.8 million smartphones in the three months leading up to the end of June 2013, while it also managed to shift 100,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
Revenue was up 15 percent to $3.1 billion, a nine percent increase from the same quarter last year, with 71 percent of that figure generated from the sale of hardware, although no specific figures regarding BlackBerry 10 sales were revealed.
The loss is unlikely to inspire confidence among investors, especially since BlackBerry 10 is considered critical to the company’s chance of a revival having seen its share of the smartphone market eroded by the likes of Apple and Samsung who have been able to match BlackBerry’s much-valued security and management offerings.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said that the focus had been on a successful launch of the operating system, which was released in the UK in February.
“We are still in the early stages of this launch, but already, the BlackBerry 10 platform and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 are proving themselves to customers to be very secure, flexible and dynamic mobile computing solutions,” he said. “Over the next three quarters, we will be increasing our investments to support the roll out of new products and services, and to demonstrate that BlackBerry has established itself as a leading and vibrant player in next generation mobile computing solutions for both consumer and enterprise customers.”
BlackBerry was unable to offer much good news to shareholders, stating that due to the difficulty of estimating performance in a highly competitive smartphone market, it anticipated that it would post an operating loss during the second quarter as it continues to invest. This is despite the fact that the company recorded a profit during the previous quarter.
Three BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5, have so far been released, but the firm is also looking towards services as a way of boosting business.
Earlier this week it announced BlackBerry Secure Work Space, a mobile device management offering that allows businesses to secure iOS and Android handsets in a BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES) environment, while it also has plans to launch a cross-platform version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) this summer.
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