BlackBerry could replace or merge BlackBerry 10 with Android

BlackBerry today reported financial results for the three months ended August 29, 2015   and reported $51 million (U.S.) of net income for the three months ended Aug. 29.

Excluding one-time items like a non-cash credit tied to the value of debentures and restructuring charges, the company reported a quarterly loss of $66 million, or 13 cents a share.

Including the impact of the non-cash gain, in the period ended August 29, it earned a net profit of $51 million. That compared with a loss of $207 million a year earlier.

BlackBerry CEO John stated in the earnings call that he wasn’t satisfied,


“I’m not satisfied . . . where we are in the overall revenue and profitability, especially the performance of our handset business,”

Device sales continue to be an albatross around BlackBerry’s neck as the company also said that for its fiscal quarter that ended August 29 it recognized revenue on  a mere 800,000 devices, a third of the number from a year ago.

Chen said he wasn’t quite prepared to drop BlackBerry 10, at least not yet,

“There is a very loyal base in BB10, especially the government, and some highly regulated industry customers, so we will have to see whether we can make money on that base,”

BlackBerry stated that they will be continuing to develop the BlackBerry 10 OS and users can expect an upgrade to 10.3.3 in March 2016, six months away.  Ominously, not only is 10.3.3 half a year away but the update will focus on security and privacy enhancements. This is verging very close to BlackBerry 10 being all about maintenance and security patch releases, opposed to new development and new features.

“Second, the company will continue to develop and enhance the BlackBerry 10 operating system and is confirming plans to release platform updates focused on security and privacy enhancements, with version 10.3.3 scheduled to be available in March 2016.”

Taking the sting off the poor device sales, Chen revealed plans for the BlackBerry Priv — named after the privacy of its high-level security technology — as its first Android smartphone.

Chen then quite clearly stated that there is a possibility that BlackBerry could either replace or merge BlackBerry 10 with Android.

 “If our plan of doing the BlackBerry-Android type of implementation works well, and the security side of the equation is well accepted by the government and this space, of course we could then replace or merge them.”

During the conference call, BlackBerry confirmed that they are working closely with Google to offer customers the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the extensive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform.

After the earnings call, Chen published an article explaining just why BlackBerry are teaming up with Google for an Android phone.

At this point in time, it is unknown whether Google will be contributing to the marketing of the Priv but if they are, then that will be a huge boost to potential sales and reach of the device.

What is that clear is that these are extremely exciting times for BlackBerry users as the Priv could hugely increase BlackBerry’s user-base, not to mention the company’s revenue.

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