BlackBerry May Spin BBM Off Into New Company

According to a Wall Street Journal report, BlackBerry is weighing the benefits of spinning of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant messaging service into a separate company.

The report also indicates that BlackBerry is moving some of its executives over to the BBM team before in an effort to expand BBM’s current offerings.

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BlackBerry Forms Special Committee to “Explore Strategic Alternatives”

BlackBerry put out a press release this morning announcing that it’s Board of Director’s has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.

To make a long story short, those rumors last week that BlackBerry is open to going private had teeth.  After initially being halted from trading, BlackBerry stock (BBRY) has seen a bit of bump up when trading was resumed at 8:30 a.m. EST this morning.

Check out the press release…

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BlackBerry Challenging Other For Last Place U.S. Smartphone Market Share

When it comes to U.S. smartphone market share the “Other” category is one place you don’t want to be.

The “Other” category is the place where companies like Kantar Worldpanel group smartphone manufacturers with market share so low that even when lumped together their sum is little more than a rounding error compared to the companies which are listed by name.

Unfortunately for BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) U.S. smartphone sales tumbled to 1.1 percent for the three month period ending in June.  This is down from 4 percent for the same period last year.

At this rate of decline BlackBerry will fall behind Other which sits at 0.9 percent U.S. within the next three month period.

I am not sure which is worse…  BlackBerry market share appearing below Other in a list or BlackBerry getting lumped into the Other category.

[Source via All Things D]

BlackBerry Fires U.S. VP of Sales and More Layoffs Coming

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, after laying off 5000 employees last fiscal year, BlackBerry is about to cut a large share of jobs — mostly middle management.  

Richard Piasentin, former BlackBerry VP of Sales in the U.S. was fired last month (June), but, it isn’t totally clear if his departure was part of this round of layoffs or because BlackBerry sales in U.S. are pretty abysmal.

[Source]

BlackBerry Getting Crushed In Pre-Market Trading (Is It Over?)

BlackBerry released it’s Q1 Fiscal 2014 earnings report, and, to make a long story short, the company missed it’s targets.

It turns out that BlackBerry is not doing a little better we thought it would and the market is punishing the stock for it, down over 20% in pre-market trading.

Billionaire investor Tom Barrett is on Squawk Box this morning and when asked his opinion on BlackBerry he simple said, “It’s Over“.

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BlackBerry Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2014 Results

June 28, 2013 07:00 ET

BlackBerry Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2014 Results

WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – June 28, 2013) – Research In Motion Limited (doing business as BlackBerry®) (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today reported first quarter results for the three months ended June 1, 2013 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP, except where otherwise indicated).

Q1 Highlights:

  • Revenue $3.1 billion, up 15% sequentially from the previous quarter
  • North America revenue grows sequentially 30%, APAC revenue grows 35%, EMEA revenue grows 9%
  • LATAM revenue declines 6% as Venezuela foreign currency restrictions negatively impact $72 million of service revenue recognition in the first quarter; company gross margins negatively impacted by 2%
  • Shipments of 6.8 million smartphones, up 13% sequentially from the previous quarter
  • GAAP loss from continuing operations of $84 million, or $0.16 per share
  • Adjusted loss from continuing operations of $67 million, or $0.13 per share
  • Venezuela foreign currency restrictions impact reported GAAP earnings and adjusted earnings by approximately $0.10 per share; excluding such impact, adjusted earnings in-line with previously provided outlook of approaching breakeven financial results
  • Cash flow from operations of $630 million
  • Cash and investments balance of $3.1 billion

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BlackBerry 10 is Doing a Little Better Than Many Thought It Would

Last week a co-worker that currently uses a BlackBerry Torch asked me how BlackBerry 10 was doing and if I thought he should move to BlackBerry Q10, or, finally switch to Android or the iPhone.

After thinking about it, I had to admit that BlackBerry 10 is doing a little better than many, including myself, thought it would.

It looks like RBC analyst, Mark Sue feels the same way as he has raised his firm’s estimates on BlackBerry 10 shipments from 11 million  by the end of the year to 14 million and has expressed optimism that “near-term profitability looks attainable.”

Now, 14 million BlackBerry 10 devices shipped in it’s first 11 months doesn’t quite compare with 5 million iPhone 5 devices sold in it’s first 3 days or 10 million Samsung Galaxy S4s  sold in 28 days, but, it is a big enough number to keep it in a conversation about third place right along with Windows Phone.

[Via Financial Post]

T-Mobile has started rolling out BlackBerry 10.1 OTA to BlackBerry Z10 owners…

There have been a lot of rumors about BlackBerry 10.1 for the T-Mobile BlackBerry Z10 floating around for several weeks, however, it does look like the official update is now available OTA.

If you were one of the adventurous types and installed a leaked build you may have to revert back to your original factory OS as you won’t see the OTA update if your leaked build is a higher version then the official release.

BlackBerry 10.1, at the time of this posting, hasn’t shown up on BlackBerry Link, so, updating OTA is the only way for now.

The full change log can be found on the T-Mobile website…

Verizon BlackBerry Q10 Now Available For Pre-Order!

If you’ve been waiting for the Blackberry Q10 to come to Verizon Wireless your wait is almost over…  The Verizon BlackBerry Q10 is now available for pre-order…

Pricing for the Verizon BlackBerry Q10 is set at $199.99 on a 2-year contract.  You can it up off contract for $599.99.

According to the Verizon Wireless website, the BlackBerry Q10 will ship June 6th.  If you are interested you can hit the pre-order page at the link below…

[Pre-Order the Verizon BlackBerry Q10]