Science and Tech


BlackBerry Takes A $4.4B Quarterly Loss

BlackBerry hemorrhaged $4.4 billion in the third quarter. The company plans to reorganize and focus on the low-end handset market.
Posted at 2:30 PM, Dec 20, 2013

BlackBerry's woes continue with a third-quarter performance that makes the near-billion-dollar loss of its second quarter look like an unfortunate warm-up.

The company suffered a total loss of $4.4 billion, a situation that wasn't helped by a collapsing hardware market and limited adoption of its most current handsets. All told, BlackBerry sold 1.9 million handsets, down from 3.7 million last quarter.

And the majority were running the company's BB7 operating system. Its newest BB10 OS is still struggling for a foothold.

"This is like a zombie movie where you know what's going to happen, and it continues to stun you with the horror." (Via Bloomberg)

New CEO John Chen has a plan to stop the bleeding, though.

"They've taken this big write-down, usually when they do that, the hope is they get a lot of the pain out of the way and can reposition the business." (Via CNBC)

BlackBerry will be organized into four divisions: enterprise services, to provide commercial server resources to more than 80,000 clients; messaging, to keep its secure messaging system going strong, including for the 40 million-plus Android and iOS users that have installed the service in the last two months; QNX embedded business, for development of cloud systems and automotive integration; and devices, to keep building handsets, especially through a new five-year agreement with Foxconn. AllThingsD explains:

"Under the terms, Foxconn will help BlackBerry develop new phones, build them, and then manage the inventory. The first target of the effort will be a phone aimed at the Indonesian market."

BGR suggests BlackBerry is nearly abandoning the high-end smartphone game — it might design new high-end phones, but consumers should expect any new handsets over the next few years to be aimed squarely at developing markets.

BlackBerry is targeting an early 2014 release date for its new Foxconn devices.