BlackBerry plans two more phones as software sales climb

But hardware sales continue to slide at troubled smartphone maker

BlackBerry's hardware sales have continue to slide, but software revenue is growing as the company shifts its focus away from handsets - and CEO John Chen has won himself another year to try to keep the struggling Canadian firm afloat. 

Revenue slid to $400 million for the most recent quarter, down by 39 per cent year-on-year, although that included writedowns and restructuring charges. Mobility Solutions, the division that includes hardware, slid to $152 million from $269 million last year, but software sales saw marked gains.

"In software, we perform well and continue to deliver the robust growth," Chen said. "Excluding IP licensing, software and services grew 131 per cent year-over-year. This is the second consecutive quarter we more than doubled our software services revenue."

Chen was re-elected chairman of the board on Wednesdsay for another year, revealing a few details about the company's future plans - including new handsets to help boost hardware sales. 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

BlackBerry will launch two phones before the end of the fiscal year, both mid-range models cheaper than its Android-running Priv, which cost 483 excluding VAT

"The Priv is a great product but it's too expensive for enterprise," Chen said, according to a report in PC World. "This is why enterprises and the carriers that supply them have been asking for a mid-range phone. That's why I think we should produce a mid-range product with our level of security."

Chen didn't reveal much more than that, saying further details would be announced next month. 

New handsets could help prop up struggling sales, with BlackBerry selling only 500,000 phones - down from 600,000 last quarter. 

Reports have long circulated that BlackBerry will - or should - pull out of making handsets and focus on its OS and security systems, but Chen said hardware is not over. 

"I really, really believe we can make money out of the handset business," he said. "But to make sure we don't put too much emphasis on the hardware, we started the software business."

Advertisement - Article continues below

That said, if it does entirely drop handsets, Chen said he doesn't expect such a move to have a material impact on BlackBerry's software business, and noted that software and services margins had climbed to the highest level since 2007.

"We're at a point where our business is extremely efficient and we no longer really are making any hardware," Chen added. "We are really a hardware design house."

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354602/xerox-to-nominate-directors-to-hps-board-reports
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to nominate directors to HP's board – reports

22 Jan 2020
Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/business-strategy/public-sector/354608/uk-gov-launches-ps300000-sen-edtech-initiative
public sector

UK gov launches £300,000 SEN EdTech initiative

22 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020