Things are not looking very good for BlackBerry right now. After the Street built up investor confidence over the past few months, BlackBerry posted a huge miss last week as it revealed a surprise loss for the May quarter. The company also managed to lose 4 million net subscribers despite finally launching the Q10 and registering its first full quarter of Z10 sales. There are a number of reasons BlackBerry continues to struggle — many of them dating back several years — but one industry watcher really put things in perspective this past weekend. More →
BlackBerry posted dismal fiscal first-quarter results on Friday that sent its stock plummeting more than 25%. The May quarter marked the first full quarter of BlackBerry Z10 sales and the quarter in which the Q10 launched, but BlackBerry still shed 4 million net subscribers. Nokia has fared a bit better in recent quarters, but its new Lumia phones are still struggling to gain traction in a market dominated by Android and the iPhone. BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone are intended to be BlackBerry and Nokia’s respective saviors, but this clash of the bantams is slow going thus far. In an effort to illustrate the companies’ progress to date, mobile analyst Benedict Evans charted BlackBerry 10 and Lumia shipments to date compared to legacy platforms. More →
When a company is fighting for its life, the last thing it wants to hear from market watchers is that it’s doomed. A new report following BlackBerry’s abysmal May-quarter results on Friday paints a bleak picture of doom and gloom, however, as one Forbes contributor suggests that BlackBerry has “nowhere to go but down from here.” More →
BlackBerry’s May-quarter handset shipments of 6.8 million units was probably at least 400,000 units short of what the company needed for the quarter. That is a painful miss for the period when both the Z10 and the Q10 were available. But the decision to avoid disclosing how many BlackBerry 10 units were sold into channels in BlackBerry’s earnings release is making the situation even worse for the company. More →
BlackBerry 10 devices may not be selling like iPhones or Samsung Galaxy phones, but BlackBerry nonetheless has to be pleased that it’s beaten many analysts’ expectations for device shipments so far. The Financial Post points us to new research from RBC analyst Mark Sue, who now projects that BlackBerry will ship 14 million BlackBerry 10 devices this year, up from his earlier projection of 11 million units. Sue also sees BlackBerry 10 performing above expectations in early 2014 and he now believes that BlackBerry will ship 3.5 million BlackBerry 10 devices in the first quarter of 2014, up from his earlier projection of 2.75 million units. Sue recently said that BlackBerry 10 sales are strongest so far in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Middle East even as sales in the United States have remained middling.
It seems like we hear more reports about BlackBerry’s revival every week, although those of us who live in the United States may not see it much in our everyday lives. It turns out there’s a good reason for this: Sales of new BlackBerry 10 devices have reportedly been middling in the U.S. while having much stronger showings in other countries. Barron’s points us to a new research note from RBC Capital analyst Mark Sue, who says that BlackBerry 10 demand “appears to be mixed by region” with “Canada, the U.K. and the Middle East… seeing the strongest BB10 sell-through.” In the U.S., however, Sue says that “BlackBerry has a diminished consumer presence” and is “seeing slower sell-through.” Adoption of BlackBerry in the U.S. may increase as more corporate IT departments upgrade their users to BlackBerry 10, Sue added.
Shares of BlackBerry rallied on Thursday on reports that the company’s new smartphones are selling better than expected. Andy Perkins of Societe Generale said, per Barron’s, that his “checks” revealed that the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 sold better in the fiscal Q2 than Wall Street expected. The analyst estimates that BlackBerry will pull in $3.7 billion in sales with a profit of $0.06 per share, up from earlier estimates of $2.7 billion. Perkins forecasts that the Z10 sold more than 4 million units, however Q10 sales aren’t expected to be as high. He explained that despite positive reception, the Q10′s limited availability and recent release means sales were likely closer to a million units, which would give BlackBerry a grand total of more than 5 million BlackBerry 10 devices sold in the past quarter. The analyst upgraded BlackBerry from a “Sell” rating to a “Buy” with a target price of $17 per share, up from $13. BlackBerry’s stock closed 6.49% higher at $14.44 per share.
BlackBerry watched as its once dominant enterprise business lost share to the likes of Samsung and Apple over the past few years. The company is now looking to win over new and old business customers alike with its line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones. The BlackBerry Q10 will be the company’s first smartphone to debut on all four major U.S. carriers. The handset features BlackBerry’s signature QWERTY keyboard and is expected to sell better than the all-touch BlackBerry Z10. The company is betting big on the Q10 and recently revealed that 60% of U.S. Fortune 500 companies are currently testing or are already using its new products. More →
Obviously, estimating smartphone sales volumes is fiendishly difficult. BlackBerry beat the Wall Street consensus on BlackBerry 10 device shipments by 100% in the February quarter. Most hedge funds have long suspected that most “store check” research reports are crude hoodoo, particularly outside the United States. But now former London hedge fund analyst Michael Collins has published a very detailed piece on just how dreadful the quality of even top-tier Wall Street store checks can be. The target here is Brian Modoff, the telecom analyst at Deutsche Bank, and this is a particularly relevant smack-down because we are talking about a leading brokerage. More →
If you purchase a Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10 smartphone, don’t expect to download the same applications your friends are using on their iPhones and Android devices. A new report from research firm Canalys has found that a majority of the top Android and iOS applications still aren’t available on Windows Phone or BlackBerry 10. When combined, the two operating systems were found to only support 34% of the top 50 free and top 50 paid applications in the App Store and Google Play in the United States. More →
Sprint will launch the BlackBerry Q10 this summer as its first BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Lois Eichelberger Fagan, director of product portfolio for Sprint, revealed in an interview with CNET that the company had originally planned to launch the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 together earlier this year, however the plan was abandoned after BlackBerry delayed the Q10 until June. The company decided the timing wasn’t right for a Z10-only launch and felt more confident in the Q10, which it believes will sell better among BlackBerry users because of its QWERTY keyboard. The executive noted, however, that the carrier isn’t done with BlackBerry and plans to release a second smartphone later this year. Fagan didn’t go into further detail about the device, only saying that there is “more to come.”
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced on Tuesday at the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, Florida that the company’s BlackBerry World storefront is now home to 120,000 applications, including both native BlackBerry 10 apps and ported Android apps. The platform continues to see steady growth, having recently added 20,000 applications in less than two months. BlackBerry 10 still suffers when it comes to the quality of apps, however. Earlier reports claimed that ported Android apps made up more than 20% of BlackBerry World’s offerings, while others were found to be low quality web apps. Popular apps such as Instagram and Netflix are still nowhere to be found. In fact, BlackBerry 10 only offers 34% of the most popular apps found on Android and iOS.
We have seen mixed reports regarding BlackBerry’s performance with the BlackBerry Q10, its first QWERTY toting BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Most industry watchers seems to think early Q10 sales have been strong, though a few analysts have strayed from the pack. RBC Capital Markets’ Mark Sue is in the first camp, though he noted in a new research note on Monday Q10 sales might not blow us away. Regardless, however, the analyst says BlackBerry has already succeeded in one respect: The Q10 is buying BlackBerry some time to turn things around. More →