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Blackberry Posts $4.4 Billion Loss, Strikes Foxconn Deal
by Karl Bode 02:22PM Monday Dec 23 2013
Late last week struggling handset maker BlackBerry announced (pdf) a $4.4 billion loss, in the process announcing that 75% of the company's meager sales were actually older Blackberry 7 devices. Blackberry had to write off $1.6 billion of inventory and supply commitments for the quarter. The company did state they'd struck a deal with Foxconn to initially build lower-cost Blackberry devices aimed at markets like Indonesia, with the goal of expanding the relationship toward having Foxconn also build higher-end smartphones. "We are very much alive, thank you," insists new Blackberry CEO John Chen.

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brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Land slide.

Ouch, they should of just closed shop earlier. Now they are at a multi-billion dollar loss.

TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Midland, ON
kudos:3

1 recommendation

Re: Land slide.

no worries man Rim's patents are still worth billions. Even if they close this will allow the CEO's and all the company's heads to make insane bank when they sell off everything.

In the end that is all that really matters to them.
weesteev

join:2011-06-09
united kingd

1 recommendation

Read between the lines...

Might be worthwhile pointing out that this isnt a $4bn cash loss, its mainly stock write off. The company still made $1.2bn cash and still has no debt... funny how the media always glosses over those facts though and sees inventory write off as the be all and end all.

The Foxconn deal is a good step in the right direction as it gives them the scale to build devices on demand, something they have never done before and it will prevent the massive stock write off's like we have seen in the last 3 quarters.

Still..i it would be nice if everyone in the industry/media didnt hate on Blackberry all the time. Its great that we have so many choices for phones these days but seeing the usual Android/iOS trolls appear every time there is a BB story is quite tragic!

MPScan
Premium
join:2001-08-24
Boston, MA

Re: Read between the lines...

"gives them the scale to build devices"

What devices? Crap people don't want?

I was a ten year BlackBerry guy. Work and personal. I bought every new device when it came out. From the original "pager" to the 7-series, 8703, 8830, Storm, Touch... hell, I even dropped a couple hundred at Staples the morning the Playbook was released...

Then I realized there are companies who actually care about the end user experience and got (for personal use) an iPhone 4. Then a 4S. Now a 5. My mid-sized company finally set out to retire the insanely expensive BES the middle of this year and switched out my Bold 9900 for an iPhone 5S.

I loved RIM. I still look at Crackberry.com every day hoping for new and better news. But nope.

They're dead. Their brand is forever tarnished so put a fork in them. The only way BlackBerry will ever make a comeback (which is absolutely possible!) is to fire everyone and wait a solid decade.... ten years.... like Apple had to do from the early 90's to the early 2000's.

Then they could possible make a comeback.
--
When judgment day comes, I'm confident I will end up in a place that's quite comfortable, very well deserved, and truly reflects how I strive to live my life. It's amusing certain groups feel the need to tell me their place will be better than mine.

PedanticCdn

@bell.ca

Re: Read between the lines...

said by MPScan:

What devices? Crap people don't want?

If you only consider those in the United States as "people", then perhaps you are partially right. However, the world extends far beyond your borders, and BlackBerry is right to target markets where their devices are still surprisingly popular, like India and Indonesia, for instance. Incidentally, these are places where few will ever have the money to buy Apple, especially if the iPhone 5c is what they call low-cost. If BlackBerry can turn out some low-cost BB10 devices, via Foxconn, that hit the right chords with those buyers, a recovery won't be too far-fetched. They would be likely to remain a niche player indefinitely, but being a niche player and being profitable are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Sites like this one and others also tend to ignore news of large deployments of their device management software, some of which have large device orders to go with them. Other sites even go to the extreme of attacking the viability of the companies making the purchases; poor reporting, at best, further re-inforcing weesteev's point.

said by MPScan:

They're dead. Their brand is forever tarnished so put a fork in them. The only way BlackBerry will ever make a comeback (which is absolutely possible!) is to fire everyone and wait a solid decade.... ten years.... like Apple had to do from the early 90's to the early 2000's.

Very similar things were widely written about Apple in the mid-nineties, but at no time did Apple "fire everyone and wait a solid decade". From the early nineties to the early 2000s, they went though four CEOs: John Sculley, Michael Spindler, Gil Amelio and, finally, one Steven P. Jobs. Far from waiting a decade, they produced some compelling innovations during that time, and, under Amelio, put the foundations of their recovery in place. You have to be rather stubborn not to see the considerable, glaring parallels between Apple's position in the 90s and BlackBerry's position now (except that BlackBerry has little debt and is not days away from being completely insolvent, as Apple was at various times during that period; even Jobs admitted that). As for firing everyone, Apple didn't do that, either. In fact, Jobs has said that some of the employees who were there before he was fired in the eighties were still there when he returned.

grydlok

join:2004-01-06
Richmond, VA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Read between the lines...

Blackberry is not doing good in Foreign markets either. The only thing that is selling is BB07 devices and they aren't breaking any records with those.
I find it funny that all the BlackBerry/Crackberry people are looking to Foxconn like it's the savior. Foxconn makes devices to sell for everyone for cheap or expensive. BB is another client.

humanfilth

join:2013-02-14
cyber gutter

shred it and sell it off

Its time for sarcasm.

"We are very much alive, thank you," insists new Blackberry CEO John Chen.

So is a zombie, but eventually it dies from hunger or gets cannibalized by the other zombies.

What they need is a massive taxpayer bailout for the greatness of Canada's technology sector. It will create 1 millions jobs!

[end sarcasm]

--
Knowledge and curiosity are not crimes and those who are curious should not be treated like criminals.. »www.eff.org/https-everywhere

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Not Dead Yet

New Blackberry CEO John Chen then went on to say: "I'm not dead yet. I think I'll go for a walk. I feel happy." He then left in a hurry when someone came onstage carrying a club and wheeling a cart full of dead bodies.
--
-Jason Levine
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Not Dead Yet

They really are not dead yet, but they are on life support. They need to just bite the bullet and scrap bb os. Go android, port all your killer portions of code to android base, and reboot your market.

Android is pretty good, but let's add on the bb security module and snap the losing market. I will even venture to say stop designing phones if it gets bad, and start to make their software available to the enterprise and security oriented markets. Then take a chance later on a handset again, heck you can even partner with another maker to build your phones.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Re: Not Dead Yet

I happen to think the same thing. They need to focus on what they do well and scrap the rest. Yes, they'll wind up settling into a niche, but it's better to rule a niche than try to relive the glory days while having a 0.5% marketshare.
--
-Jason Levine
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA

Re: Not Dead Yet

And that sir is my point and what I would expect from the coming ceo and management group.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1
Oh yes scrap the billions they invested in their own OS and invest in a laggy OS that only Samsung has managed to profit from. Brilliant.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Not Dead Yet

And there is the short term thinking that is killing them !

Look whether you like it or not they need to stop developing their own os. They can improve android and fork it for 1/4 of the cost... make it less laggy, as you would say. To be honest I have had multiple android phones and never have an issue, my iphone was horrible i gave it to my friend, my wifes iphone was even worse.

In business you need to know when to cut the ropes that bind and move forward! If you don't understand business and the progress that we need to make on products then you should not be allowed to even manage personal finance !

BB Os is bleeding them dry, they cut ties there and move the developers to either for android or build on top of android. If I were righting the ship I'd still design marquee phones, and then build on top of android with my security packages.

It's not a waste of resources or cash, you can port the BB Os themes and styles to android. It is not like they are worlds apart.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

PedanticCdn

@bell.ca

Re: Not Dead Yet

So what you're suggesting is that they throw the OS that they have already developed in the trash, just so that they can pay to start all over, with Android as a base this time? In effect that would be throwing away a codebase that was purpose-built, and opting instead to try kludging their security architecture onto a foreign codebase that is not only a moving target, but has always treated security as an afterthought, at best. How, exactly, is that supposed to cost less than maintaining the code they already have? More importantly, how is that supposed to help their reputation for security, given that Android is the one mobile OS that is routinely passed over in secure environments? Even iOS is faring better on the security front, and it still falls short of the approvals that BB10 already has, young as it is.

Realistically, Android is little more than a vehicle for Google's data mining activities, which, in turn, support their bread-and-butter business: advertising. Trying to secure Android isn't for the faint-of-heart; just ask Samsung how their efforts are going and when they expect to have the same approvals as BB10 with Knox, etc. It is certainly not the simple, inexpensive endeavour you seem to indicate it would be. With Google's ever-increasing control over the codebase, how long will such efforts even remain viable?

Personally, I think BlackBerry's approach to Android is right. Have some of the software consumers might want available (like BBM), and offer their secure management-enabled container, but don't try to adopt it as the base for their own devices. To do so would, in all likelihood, invite results worse than we are now seeing.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Not Dead Yet

You fail to see the light here, BB os is secure by obscurity, they make extensive use of RSA , which has been show to be a major problem, RSA was given money to introduce a back door by making their encryption weaker and using a not truly RNG to seed. It makes all security weak at best !

Linux is not insecure ! Android is based on linux, and their implementation is insecure, so you take android and fork it. Or start working with android yourself to help sure up the walls, the code base they have, can easily be ported to android.

They also have the ability to build secure modules for their fork of it if they chose to. What your saying is kin to saying just because we have invested cash in solaris porting our system to run a standard linux environment is a bad idea ? In the short term it's pricey, in the long term it's a drastic cost on savings.

Look at this point their bleeding money, their market share is in the toilet. They need to right the ship, Android has market share and staying power, just because google data mines doesn't mean anything, this stuff can be ripped from the base image and adjusted to suit their needs, it's not like they don't have developers to do this ! it's not really a tough job if custom roms are out there now with this.

And in the business world if your bleeding money you need to follow the money , trail blaze a new direction, or become extinct. And Rim is becoming extinct. They tried to blaze a new trail and failed. People do not want an OS in their hand that they need to relearn, that is why apple is so popular.

If you have any development experience as well you see what Im getting at here. Your fighting for the life of a company, not a game where we can just hit reset.

You need to design a marquee handset and get it running a secure version of android, use technology we have to our advantage, look the bootloader, use otp marks to secure the data, use an ACL based firewall on all the access levels of the os.

These are all modules blackberry already has, and it's implementation is not very far off from android, the base level os is a bit different, but the jvm container is almost identical.

I work with developers on a day to day basis and write code to help from time to time. They need to cut development costs, and you do this by shifting the developers instead of outsourcing to india. There is so many moving pieces to bear in mind here not just the OS.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"
markf

join:2008-01-24
Burlington, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·WIND Mobile
·ELECTRONICBOX
·Execulink Telecom
I ask this question, knowing the answer already, but have you tried BlackBerry 10.2.1?

I started running 10.2.1.1055, now I'm on 10.2.1.1925 and Android compatibility is fantastic. Yes there are some apps that don't work yet (apps that require Google Play Services mainly), but I've been able to easily load on dozens of Android apps along side my BB10 ones.

The Android runtime is capable of running 4.2.2 apps, so a good chunk of Android apps are working now in BB10.

It's the best of both worlds, and if the bashers would take 10 minutes to actually learn a bit about BB10 a lot of their attack points would be blunted.

Jason Levine
Premium
join:2001-07-13
USA

Re: Not Dead Yet

I've used BlackBerry 10 (on a Q10). The main problem that I see is a lack of apps. I would go to the BlackBerry apps store and wouldn't be able to find an app I was looking for. (For example: Instagram.) Sometimes, I could find a knockoff app but no reviews to tell me if the app was good or garbage. (Often the knockoff app wasn't even free so I wasn't going to buy an unknown app just to see if it would be what I was looking for.)

Android compatibility might be good, but it requires you to download the app's file and run it through some sort of importer. You can't just go to the Amazon App Store or the Google Play store and download the app. This will limit Android Compatibility for most of the public.

In some respects, it's a chicken and egg problem for BlackBerry. Without the apps, people won't buy the phones. However, without a large enough population of people using the phones, the app developers will ignore BlackBerry and focus on iOS/Android. This is the same problem Microsoft is having with the Windows phones. The number of apps available for iOS/Android blow away the numbers for BlackBerry/Windows phones.
--
-Jason Levine
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: Not Dead Yet

said by Jason Levine:

I've used BlackBerry 10 (on a Q10). The main problem that I see is a lack of apps. I would go to the BlackBerry apps store and wouldn't be able to find an app I was looking for. (For example: Instagram.) Sometimes, I could find a knockoff app but no reviews to tell me if the app was good or garbage. (Often the knockoff app wasn't even free so I wasn't going to buy an unknown app just to see if it would be what I was looking for.)

Android compatibility might be good, but it requires you to download the app's file and run it through some sort of importer. You can't just go to the Amazon App Store or the Google Play store and download the app. This will limit Android Compatibility for most of the public.

In some respects, it's a chicken and egg problem for BlackBerry. Without the apps, people won't buy the phones. However, without a large enough population of people using the phones, the app developers will ignore BlackBerry and focus on iOS/Android. This is the same problem Microsoft is having with the Windows phones. The number of apps available for iOS/Android blow away the numbers for BlackBerry/Windows phones.

Actually with 10.2.1 you can install apk files directly into your bb10 device. You can even install amazon App Store and 1 mobile and download apps directly from there.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Yes I have a bb z10, I like it, with Tmobile I can roam anywhere in the world with it. But I speak from a business perspective, I want Rim to live on and get back to what they are good at.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

michieru
Premium
join:2009-07-25
Miami, FL
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

.

I love how people here preach about competition but look at Blackberry as a company that needs to die. I would prefer that they do not and actually create a drastic move to keep them relevant. BB10 can be improved and made into a wonderful OS if they gave it the chance.