With sales of older BlackBerry 7 phones higher than new touchscreen models, BlackBerry is planning to re-tool its product line with keyboard handsets aimed at government and corporate clients.
BlackBerry’s second quarter numbers are out and there’s little good to be seen: Revenues are down 45 percent from a year ago and the Z10 write-off is costing the company nearly a billion dollars.
How is the BlackBerry Q10 selling? Not well according to Chris Jourdan, owner operator of 16 Wireless Zone stores, who also told the Wall Street Journal that the handful of Q10s sold were returned by the customers:
“We saw virtually no demand for the [BlackBerry] Q10 and eventually returned most to our equipment vendor.”
Supplementing the lack of demand is this comment from Jeff Trachsel, chief marketing officer at NextWorth:
“We thought there would be a pocket of die-hard BlackBerry enthusiasts waiting to upgrade, but it seems they have already moved on.”
Granted, 16 stores in the midwestern U.S. and one electronics trade-in business offer only a glimpse of BlackBerry’s efforts to stay afloat in the smartphone market.
But there’s plenty of other evidence suggesting the company’s hardware hopes are bleak. Last week, it was revealed that BlackBerry is considering a service spinoff. That followed lower than expected shipment figures for the new BlackBerry 10 handsets in the second quarter; only half that of Nokia(s nok) Lumia Windows Phone(s msft) devices.
At this point, I’m starting to wonder if organizations such as the Department of Defense and ADP(s adp) should be reconsidering their choice of going with new BlackBerry phones. I doubt the company will leave them in a lurch from a support standpoint, but why take the potentially costly chance?
How does BBM, Inc. grab you? That could be the newest subsidiary of BlackBerry as it shuffles assets around, perhaps in anticipation of a sale, says the Wall Street Journal.
BlackBerry’s board has put together a special committee to look at a potential sale of the company, joint ventures, strategic partnerships and other options.
The next BlackBerry device looks to be a nice hardware improvement over the company’s Z10 handset according to a leaked slide full of specs. But are BlackBerry devices not selling well due to hardware or is it the software and ecosystem?
BlackBerry is betting big on its new operating system and phones but they these aren’t yet resonating with consumers: Just 2.7 million handsets sold last quarter run BlackBerry 10. That’s just half of Nokia’s Windows Phone sales for the first quarter.
“Return rate statistics show that we are at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry.”
On Friday, BlackBerry(s bbry) CEO and President, Thorsten Heins, refuted reports from an analyst firm on Thursday that suggested BlackBerry Z10 return rates were very high. Analyst firm Detwiler Fenton & Co. told Bloomberg that in some extreme cases, returns were higher than sales for a given time period.
In a press statement, BlackBerry specifically called out Detwiler Fenton, saying the company “refused to make either its report to investors or its methodology available to BlackBerry, even after the Company said the firm’s findings were ‘absolutely false.’ ”
BlackBerry will be looking for the Securities Exchange Commission and Ontario Securities Commission to review the situation and plans to submit a formal request to those agencies within a few days.
BlackBerry 10 doesn’t seem to be a hit with surveyed consumers and handset return rates are reportedly high. Can software improvements turn the tide or does BlackBerry simply have a marketing problem?
BlackBerry’s subscriber numbers are down again but more sales of phones with higher average selling prices helped the company turn a profit in the most recent fiscal quarter.