Blackberry reports $670 mn loss, might exit smartphone business

A Blackberry sign is seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada in this June 23, 2015 file photo. BlackBerry posted a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss on April 1, 2016, on the back of restructuring and acquisition related costs. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files
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What at one time was a major status symbol, is now a thing that has no takers at all. That’s Blackberry’s current situation for you, in a nutshell.

The Canadian mobile company has managed to sell a mere 5 lakh phones all around the world in the first fiscal quarter of the year 2016. This figure is one lakh less from the six lakh figure in the previous quarter. The decline costed BlackBerry a loss of a whopping $670 million, which unfortunately is also the company’s biggest loss in a period of over two years.

Although much of the company’s loss was down to restructuring charges, the sales also took a major hit and fell down by 39 per cent on a year earlier to $400 million.

The last couple of years have seen Blackberry trying hard to revive its handset business. The Priv smartphone running Google’s Android operating system was a step towards that direction. But, unfortunately, the masses seemed to have moved on as the early sales figures of the phone have been rather than disappointing than expected.

Seeing the markets current behaviour towards the the once-famous Blackberry handsets, the mobile company is now considering stop making the phones altogether by September this year.

Speaking at Blackberry’s annual meeting, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said, “The device business must be profitable, because we don’t want to run a business that drags onto the bottom line.” He further added, “I don’t personally believe handsets will be the future of any company.”

Currently, Blackberry’s software business is achieving new scales and traction, resulting in its robust growth and increased market share than ever. So, for now, the company seems to be focused on building a business that is profitable, rather than trying hard left and right to make a dying one survive.

In fact, the Canadian company recently entered into a partnership with HCL Infosystems in its efforts to expand the channel and distribution network reach of Blackberry’s software products and services in the Indian sub-continent.

 

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