Years have passed since BlackBerry Ltd. practically fell out of the mobile tech world however, slowly but surely they are sweeping up the mess they made. This once proud and towering figure in the world of mobile electronics was left in the heads of new CEO John Chen, who needed to figure out exactly how he would turn the ship around. In the first quarter of 2014 the company sighted a small victory, which may have sparked their return, when they had fewer losses than they were expecting. Sometimes even putting one foot in the pool on a hot day can be refreshing.
This last week the company continued to get better and better. Following the earnings report, BlackBerry stock rose by about 10 percent on Thursday, and an additional 7 percent on Friday. Even though the company currently stands to profit from the release of some new devices, Chen said that it was only because of the careful planning that went on during 2013, when BlackBerry Ltd. finalized their budget. The release of their new phones, the BlackBerry Z3, Classic, and Passport is promising, but investors are not optimistic about the demand for the services and handsets coming from BlackBerry this year. Renewing their physical keyboard fan base, in a world of touch only devices will be a trick indeed.
BlackBerry Ltd. was estimated to lose around $.25 per share, but only lost $.11 per share, less than half. In addition, they also reported selling around 1.6 million handsets, around $300,000 USD more than expected. The internal changes made to the company since John Chen was made CEO in November 2013, included selling off a large amount of their Canadian real-estate holdings. A rather big change came in December of last year, when BlackBerry Ltd. signed a deal to outsource production of their devices to Foxconn, who just so happens to be the top manufacturer for the Apple iPhone. BlackBerry Ltd. is now in the hands of someone who understands how a mobile electronics company should run, and he is not afraid to sweep up the mess and take out the trash.
Some things just require a good amount of patience and understanding, which is exactly what will be needed from consumers as the technology giant rises again from its deep slumber. Hopefully, CEO John Chen will see some good for all the hard work that he has put into sweeping up the mess left for him by past leadership at BlackBerry Ltd. Later on in 2014 will see the release of the famed “Passport,” a high-end handset offering from the company, and their unique answer to the “phablet wars.” Which includes major players Samsung with the Galaxy Note 4, and Apple with the iPhone 6 rumored to reach 5.5 inches. The battle will be hard, but if they can pull it off, they will go home at the end of the day with that good kind of tired feeling. With many exciting new things happening for BlackBerry Ltd, perhaps it is a little early to call it a comeback, but being optimistic never hurt anyone. So as long as the hope exists, consumers should enjoy a bit of fresh new seasoning for the mobile market.
Opinion By Phillip Schmidt