With the fall of
Things are so bad that on Friday night, market rumours forced Heins to announce the top-line quarterly results a week early. And they are grim: an operating loss of up to
For a company that once dismissed the iPhone for having no keyboard (a key selling point for BlackBerry phones), it's a humiliation.
The low shipment figure exposes Heins's claim in April that the new Q10 phone - the first keyboard-equipped model using its new BB10 software - would sell "tens of millions". It might have sold a million.
Now the question is turning to how long BlackBerry has to go. On Friday, the company said it will cut 4,500 jobs, roughly 40% of its 11,000 total worldwide, adding to 7,000 jobs cut in the two previous financial years. It will reduce its future phone portfolio from six to four.
One former insider asks: "How would BlackBerry win? There's no answer to that at the moment. A buyer? I don't see how they would make the case."
This weekend was meant to be a new start for the company, with an attempt to turn back the clock to when it was the star of the tech world by offering its famous BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) software free for iPhones and Android phones. But rivals such as WhatsApp are already on both, with more users, while BlackBerry's base is dwindling both among consumers and businesses. BBM's arrival on the other platforms is two years too late, says the insider.
Friday's bad news drove the stock down by 20%, to a market cap of just
But who would buy it now?
Reuters reported last week that while
So where did BlackBerry go wrong? Was it the PlayBook tablet, unveiled 18 months after Apple's iPad in
"BlackBerry didn't move fast enough on that, nor get BBM out soon enough," the insider says.
The key failing was that BB10 was two years too late. Lazaridis and Balsillie saw that BB7, which powers older BlackBerrys, was outdated, but the new version was not released until January this year.
Heins was installed in
Yet if BB10 had taken off, it would have cut the company's throat. That's because phones using that software don't generate any service revenues from sending emails, data and web pages - which amounts to between a fifth and third of revenues, and rather more of profits.
All eyes are on BlackBerry now. But the message is not a positive one. The turmoil in the smartphone industry is brutal; more casualties may follow.
Most Popular Stories
- Accenture Gets 8 Percent Bump in Q1
- Lockheed Martin Ends Gifts to Boy Scouts Over Gay Ban
- Texting With Vodka: Booze and Social Media Can Mix After All
- Menendez Pushes for Iran Sanctions
- Mazda Leads the Pack for Fuel Efficiency
- Stripped-Down Defense Bill Creates Winners, Losers
- Debt Ceiling Looms Again as Deadline Approaches
- Deportation Threat Looms Larger Than Citizenship Among Hispanics
- How to Protect Yourself After Target Data Breach
- Baucus May Be Next China Ambassador