Blackberry loses $670 million in Q1 but still exceeds expectations


BlackBerry has been fighting for its life for the last few years. The company has tried to compete against the likes of Android and Apple but fell so far down that it decided to join the Android army with the BlackBerry Priv. Even with the slide-out keyboard that has been a staple of BlackBerry devices, the Priv still fell flat and has been subject to many discounts and sales since its launch. With all the shortcomings from BlackBerry, you would think they would be on the verge of looking for a potential buyer and to exit the mobile platform somehow.

The company just released its earnings for Q1 of 2016 and the results were expected but a bit surprising at the same time. BlackBerry posted a loss of $670 million dollars, and was below its target revenue goal, but the company still exceeded some expectations.

In Q1 BlackBerry sold 500,000 devices, which was down from the 600,000 that it had sold in Q4 of 2015. The company also changed its “reporting structure” to include both smartphone sales and software licensing agreements. By doing so, this is where BlackBerry exceeded expectations. Between these licensing agreements and mobile phone sales, BlackBerry saw an increase of 21% in revenue when compared to Q1 of 2015.

BlackBerry projections

Image courtesy of Bloomberg

The big question now is whether BlackBerry should stick it out and continue to manufacture smartphones even though the profits are rapidly deteriorating. For example, between Q2 of 2015 and the projections for Q2 of 2016, the number of smartphone sales is expected to drop from 2.1 million to 700,000.

You don’t have to be an analyst to understand that BlackBerry is in trouble, and the time is coming for the company to make a drastic decision. I don’t know if I can imagine a world without BlackBerry just due to how long the company has been around for, but these numbers can’t be ignored.

BlackBerry has confirmed that it is working on two new mid-range Android devices that will be launching later this year, and will be priced in the $300 to $400 range. We’ll see if entering the budget market will help the company, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Maybe it’s time for BlackBerry to say goodbye to mobile smartphones and focus on its software and licensing agreements.

[via Bloomberg]


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