BlackBerry Looks to Software, IoT After Profitable Q4
Banking on its growing enterprise software and Internet of things business units, the struggling smartphone maker managed to eke out a profit.BlackBerry's software is a bright spot for the embattled smartphone maker as it tries to orchestrate a turnaround. The Canadian device and secure messaging software provider today announced revenue of $660 million for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 28, missing analyst estimates of $734.5 million. During the quarter, 1.6 million BlackBerry smartphones made their way into the hands of end customers, with an average sales price of $211, compared with $180 in the third quarter. "Over 90 percent of the products shipped in the quarter were newer-generation, higher-margin products," said CEO John Chen, referencing newer handsets like the BlackBerry Passport and Classic, during a conference call this morning. He described early reports of sales at AT&T stores as "encouraging." All told, the company's latest batch of handsets is being offered through "160 carriers and over 7,000 retail stores in 86 countries," he said. Services accounted for 47 percent of the revenue booked by the company during its fiscal fourth quarter, followed by hardware (at 42 percent) and software (at 10 percent).
"Our software business had a particularly strong quarter," noted Chen. BlackBerry attained software sales of $67 million, a 20 percent year-over-year improvement. The segment is performing strongly for the company, with "2,200 customer wins in the quarter," including Delta Air Lines, the Canada government and HSBC, said Chen. In a bid to attract more enterprise customers, Chen said BlackBerry is "stepping up our investment in security and privacy," and increasing its head count.