More reports on: Telecom

BlackBerry Priv sold well last quarter: CEO John Chen

21 December 2015

The BlackBerry Priv had been among the struggling Canadian company's big gambles from earlier this year in CEO John Chen's bid to save the firm from the doldrums. According to commentators, the gamble looked to be paying off.

BlackBerry said it had earned $548 million in global revenue in the quarter ended 28 November, which was 11.8 per cent more higher than in the earlier quarter, and the first time since 2013 that the company reported two straight quarterly increases in revenue.

However, though there was much interest on how the Priv had fared, Chen had not given the slightest clue at the phone's numbers. ''The initial 30 days of sales has been quite positive,'' said Chen, keeping it as short and sweet as possible. ''I don't want to over-hype things. It's an expensive phone.''

In its quarterly report, BlackBerry announced it had sold 700,000 phones during that period which came in at a couple of thousand lower than what some analysts had forecast but also a hundred thousand lower than the number of phones it sold in the prior quarter.  On the plus side though, BlackBerry said the average price of the smartphones sold in its last quarter was $315, a huge year-over-year improvement from the $240 of November 2014 quarter.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry's software pitch started to show traction, following the company reporting a smaller quarterly loss and its first quarter-to-quarter revenue increase in over two years, which sent its stock soaring 13 per cent.

In a significant development, gains in software revenue more than offset a worsening decline in legacy system access fees for the first time, according to the Waterloo, Ontario-based company which added, the trend should continue.

The company might break even in the current quarter, but this could be complicated by investments being made toward growing both software and hardware sales, according to chief executive John Chen, who is expecting a return to sustainable profitability in Blackberry's fiscal 2017, which would begin in 17 March.

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