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BlackBerry lost 4 million subscribers in Q1 despite new launches

BlackBerry Subscribers Q1 2014

BlackBerry posted dismal fiscal first-quarter results on Friday morning, and the hits kept on coming during the vendor’s earnings call. CEO Thorsten Heins did his best to paint a picture of a company on teetering on the brink of a turnaround, but investors weren’t convinced and BlackBerry shares plummeted more than 20% during Friday’s pre-market session. Among the worst news — aside from the fact that BlackBerry initially failed to disclose BB10 unit sales in the June quarter, which, by the way, was the first full quarter of Z10 sales and the quarter in which the Q10 launched — was word that BlackBerry’s new devices are not bringing in new subscribers as quickly as old ones are fleeing: BlackBerry said during its earnings call that its global subscriber base shrunk to 72 million in fiscal Q1, down 4 million subs sequentially. The company plans to launch the mid-range Q5 in various markets over the next couple of months, but it remains unclear how a mid-range handset will help BlackBerry combat the dirt-cheap Android and Asha phones that are eating into its business in key emerging markets.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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