BlackBerry said Friday it fell deeper into the red in the past quarter as the struggling smartphone maker unveiled a manufacturing partnership with
The Canadian firm reported a massive
The company also unveiled a five-year partnership with
The new partnership, according to BlackBerry, demonstrates its long-term commitment to selling smartphones, after speculation that it might abandon device sales to focus on software and services.
BlackBerry has made repeated public pleas over the past year for customers to stick with it amid forecasts of its pending demise.
But the company is also seeing plummeting sales, with third quarter revenues of just
The results were "worse than depressed expectations," said
The company sold just 1.9 million smartphones in the quarter, nearly half the figure from the previous quarter, suggesting the release of the Z10 handset -- a touchscreen device launched this year and aimed at competing against Apple and Android rivals -- has failed.
But the company said that 40 million new iOS/Android users have registered over the past 60 days to use its messaging system.
Sue summed up the results as reflecting the company's challenge in maintaining customers, predicting "more layoffs to come" as it burns through cash.
The company's "lack of clear strategy (will) weigh on shares," he said in a note to clients.
This was the first financial report since
Chen said BlackBerry's enterprise services for organizations and its messaging products are in good shape, and its "most immediate challenge" is to turnaround its handset business.
"We have accomplished a lot in the past 45 days, but still have significant work ahead of us as we target improved financial performance next year," Chen said.
The chief executive said BlackBerry is "financially strong" and has "a broad and trusted product portfolio to work with."
"With the operational and organizational changes we have announced, BlackBerry has established a clear road map that will allow it to target a return to improved financial performance in the coming year," he vowed.
In September, the company announced that it was laying off 4,500 staff -- or one third of its global workforce -- after losing
BlackBerry helped create a culture of mobile users glued to smartphones, but lost its luster as many moved to iPhones or devices using
BlackBerry still has some 70 million subscribers worldwide, but most of these are using older handsets, with newer devices on the BlackBerry 10 platform unveiled in January failing to gain traction.
But he noted that the company "still has a way to go to achieve turnaround."
"The new management restructuring will likely help, but the primary challenge is to stem the losses in devices and get more people interested in the higher end devices, which is not happening at the current time," Gold said.
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