BlackBerry posts huge loss for third quarter
Company says its biggest challenge is still in core handset business
BlackBerry faces intense competition from Apple’s iPhone and a slew of smartphones powered by Google Inc’s Android operating systems. Photograph EPA/Bagus Indahono
BlackBerry Ltd , which gave up on a plan to sell itself last month, has reported a massive quarterly loss, as sales of its smartphones shrivelled and it booked asset impairment charges and inventory writedowns.
The company, which announced a five-year partnership with Foxconn Technology Co Ltd to develop and manufacture a handset for Indonesia and other emerging markets, conceded that its biggest challenge was still in its core handset business. “While our enterprise services, messaging and QNX embedded businesses are already well-positioned . . . the most immediate challenge for the company is how to transition the devices operations to a more profitable business model,” said chief executive John Chen.
Mr Chen has said he will not jettison the hardware operation and is counting on strong growth in its service business that manages smartphone traffic on the internal networks of corporate and government clients. BlackBerry sold about 4.3 million handsets in the third quarter including some shipped to suppliers earlier. Older BlackBerry 7 models account for about 3.2 million of the smartphones.
The company recognised hardware revenue on 1.9 million devices, down from 3.7 million in the previous quarter. Its cash pile grew to $3.2 billion from $2.6 billion a quarter earlier, but that included $1 billion raised by issuing convertible notes to a group of investors last month.
The Waterloo, Ontario- based company pioneered the concept of on-the-go email, and for years its pagers and phones were must-have devices. But in recent years it has ceded its once-dominant market share to Apple Inc’s iPhone and a slew of smartphones powered by Google Inc’s Android operating system.The firm reported a third-quarter net loss of $4.4 billion, or $8.37 a share, compared with year-earlier net income of $9 million, or 2 cents a share. – (Reuters)