It’s no secret BlackBerry devices are nowhere near as popular as they once were. The combination of BBM and full QWERTY keyboards made BlackBerry devices hugely popular, especially with teenagers, but the rise of alternatives such as Whatsapp and larger, more usable touchscreen keyboards the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC have taken plenty of market share away from BlackBerry.
Earlier this year the first BB10 devices launched with BlackBerry hoping it would help them gain back some of those lost customers. While the Z10 and Q10 were great handsets they haven’t sold nearly as well as BlackBerry would have hoped with just 2.7 million BB10 devices shipped between March and May this year. BB10 devices only accounted for 40% of all devices shipped by BlackBerry in that time period.
Even more alarming than the disappointing performance of BB10 will be the loss of $84 million in those months, especially when the company made a healthy $94 million in the previous quarter. Revnues are up compared to the same quarter last year but that doesn’t mean much if BlackBerry can’t turn a profit.
It’s too early to conclude BlackBerry are doomed but no business can survive if it is losing money so they need to turn things around quickly. With cost cutting measures in place including job losses BlackBerry are clearly trying to get things back on track but the strong performance of their biggest rivals is going to make that very difficult.