BlackBerry boss pleads for investor patience as sales slide

Don’t judge us on merely first quarter figures, he asks

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has pleaded for investors to be patient, insisting that he is still on track with the company’s turnaround strategy.
At the company’s annual meeting in its home town of Waterloo, Ontario, he described BlackBerry’s current roll-out of its new operating system as the “second phase” of a three-step plan to return to profitability, the first phase being the streamlining of operations and cutting costs.
“This is an uphill battle but we are doing the best we can,” he told attendees, though he also admitted that the company had struggled in some cases to win over mobile phone operators and persuade them to give the new handsets shelf space in stores.
“It is a very, very competitive market . . . we are competing for carrier spots,” he said.
Heins also played down the market’s hostile reaction to its surprise quarterly loss last month which included first sales figures for its new Z10 handset, declaring: “While many will judge us on the basis of one quarter of a single product, we are not a devices-only product.”
BlackBerry shares fell by almost a third on June 28 after the company said that revenue for the three months was $3.1 billion, falling short of the $3.37 billion analysts had predicted. It also warned of another operating loss in the current quarter.
Meanwhile the Canadian manufacturer’s global subscriber base slipped to 72 million in the last quarter, down from 76 million in the previous quarter and 79 million in the quarter before that.
Its share of the global smartphone market also fell to 2.9 per cent in March when it was pushed into fourth place behind Google’s Android operating system, Apples’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, according to researchers IDC.

About Dave Evans

Dave Evans is a long established commentator on both the IT and cellular industries. His current focus is on share price trends within the sector. You can email him here
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