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Blackberry Businesses Cellphones Handhelds The Almighty Buck

BlackBerry Back In Profit 67

Posted by Soulskill
from the bouncing-back dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that BlackBerry, hit hard over the past several years by the emergence of smart phones, has come back to profitability. BlackBerry has been fighting an uphill battle to stay relevant in the world of mobile devices. It has lost market share to Apple, companies like Samsung that offer gadgets running on Google's Android operating system, and Microsoft. But John Chen, who took over as CEO in November, has injected new life to the company. Chen, who says BlackBerry is getting close to breaking even on its hardware business, has steered the company's focus more towards software. He's made several product announcements that Wall Street has cheered. Last month, the company launched its Project Ion, an initiative to develop more connected devices ... a trend dubbed the Internet of Things. On Wednesday, BlackBerry reached a deal with Amazon that will let users of BlackBerry's newest operating system access Android apps in Amazon's appstore later this fall.
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BlackBerry Back In Profit

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  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @03:57PM (#47289663) Homepage

    Blackberry may make a comeback as the "big business smartphone". All the other smartphones are slaves to Apple or Google or a carrier. Blackberry phones are slaves to the enterprise Blackberry server, and Blackberry itself doesn't see phone traffic. Blackberry is the only major vendor serious about security and encryption. Everybody else is into advertising revenue.

    • by beefoot (2250164)
      > Blackberry is the only major vendor serious about security and encryption.

      They are serious about security or compression? I think it was latter. Compression was necessary to minimize data usage. Back in the days where GPRS was considered extremely FAST. They needed compression to make communication on their device bearable. I think security was an after thought. Just my opinion.

      Having said that, a BB10 is not much different comparing to other smart phones in term of how it is retrieving w
      • by Tapewolf (1639955)

        Certainly they were - the old Blackberry OS was FIPS-certified. At the time, about 3 years ago, it was the only phone platform we could find that matched the government security requirements the company I worked for needed for a tender, and that was unfortunate, because the old OS is shit and horrific to program against.

        I do not know if the QNX-based OS was ever secured as tightly as OS7.

    • It's better than some of their prospects; but I wouldn't be wildly optimistic.

      Neither iDevices nor androids have the FIPS-certified seriousness of the classic blackberries; but both have been receiving their share of attention from vendors interested in (either at the level of a single app that speaks EAS and refuses to talk to system-wide storage of contacts and other information that would normally bleed the first time somebody downloaded the SpamSocial app of the day, or on the level of 'MDM' stuff th
    • by MikeMo (521697)
      Sorry, Apple is not into advertising revenue. They make their money on hardware and software and services. They don't have a search web site.

      Selling your eyeballs and your habits are pretty strictly in Google's and Microsoft's purview.
      • by kqs (1038910)

        Selling your eyeballs and your habits are pretty strictly in Google's and Microsoft's purview.

        Yeah, not so much. [apple.com] Though based on news reports they're not not very good at it [macrumors.com] yet.

        • iAd is the coolest, most advanced advertising delivery platform not used by anybody.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Selling your eyeballs and your habits are pretty strictly in Google's and Microsoft's purview.

          Yeah, not so much. Though based on news reports they're not not very good at it yet.

          iAds? They're a joke. First, Apple doesn't give out customer information - at least not to the extent the competition (i.e., Google/AdMob) does. And the exorbitant buy in fee?

          To be honest, I think the ONLY reason Apple has iAds is because Google is paying Apple off. Remember when the DoJ was investigating Google's purchase of AdMob?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Right. Super serious about security, enough to give the decryption keys to any country that asks. I feel very safe knowing the Indian and Saudi governments can read any of my messages.

      • by msobkow (48369)

        Oh, yes. Companies like Blackberry, Apple, Microsoft, et. al. should all be "digital anarchists" and rebel against the governments of the countries they sell products and services in because you say so.

        How about you put your ass on the line against those governments?

        • by msobkow (48369)

          BTW, that happens to include "friendly" governments like those of the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Right. Super serious about security, enough to give the decryption keys to any country that asks. I feel very safe knowing the Indian and Saudi governments can read any of my messages.

        Actually, they can't read all messages. Even RIM can't read all messages.

        There are two modes a Blackberry can work in - BES mode and BIS mode. BES mode is when your Blackberry is attached to a Blackberry Enterprise Server machine. What happens in this case is all traffic between your phone and BES is encrypted with a per-devic

    • by citizenr (871508)

      They are so serious they let UAE/India/Saudi Arabia etc snoop on BB traffic.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ArhcAngel (247594)

        They are so serious they were the last company in telecom to let UAE/India/Saudi Arabia etc snoop on BB traffic.

        FTFY

        The only reason you heard about BlackBerry caving was because they fought it for 3 years. All the other carriers and OEM's had already capitulated or were so insecure India didn't even have to ask. So yea...they care about the security of their customers. And FYI that was only for BIS traffic. They designed BES specifically to prevent anyone, even BlackBerry, from compromising their security.

    • Of course they're back to profitable. They fired everyone in customer support.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The CEO cut his way to profitability [google.com]. Its an old cheap trick that usually helps only the CEO's bonuses/compensation and in the meantime, hurts the company's long term prospects.

    The deal with Amazon? Pfft. BFD.

    RIM/Blackberry will be back in the red by year end.

    RIM is mostly dead and even Miracle Max can't help them.

  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @04:07PM (#47289697)
    I recently got back from a trip to Latin America. Blackerries were *everywhere,* with everyone BBMing like mad. iPhones were almost non-existent, with a smattering of older Android devices. I think we tend to take an America / Western Europe approach when in fact it's apparent that BB remains strong in 'emerging' markets.
    • by beefoot (2250164)
      BB was strong in Indonesia. It is just a matter of time before others catching up with the rest of the world. I believe they may survive if they focus on businesses and governments customers.
    • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday June 21, 2014 @04:43PM (#47289801) Homepage

      That was not Brazil, I assume. I've only seen a Blackberry here once, in some in-store kiosk, years before smartphones became mainstream. Nowadays, everyone has Androids, iPhones, even WP, while Blackberry has vanished.

    • The trouble with 'emerging' markets is that they aren't a strong position, even if you are the strongest player in them.

      If they do manage to be 'emerging' in the sense of actually getting wealthier over time, you'd better have a compelling reason why they should continue buying from you, rather than starting to buy the toys that they couldn't previously afford, which (barring some significant cultural variable) is a very real possibility in Blackberry's case since those toys have already demonstrated the
    • by jonbryce (703250)

      The school kids on my bus in the morning used to spend their journeys using BBM on their blackberries. Now they have cheap Androids and converse on WhatsApp.

    • by puto (533470)
      Really? In Colombia Blackberries are going the way of the dodo. Cheap androids, iphones, and windows mobiles are the norm. The only people you really see with blackberries are people who have bought them off of Mercado Libre. A big clue in all of latin america is that I would say 80 percent of the people who have a blackberry have it for show and do not have a data plan, and just use them for plain text. I would also say this goes for Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. Even when I was working between
  • Does anyone really think Blackberry has any chance of long-term survival in its current form? A true turnaround can't occur if your revenues are in death spiral and businesses avoid you like a leper.
    • Yes, they're a chance if they start marketing properly. They have a very strong security message for corporates, and that message is only getting stronger post-Snowden.

      For corporate (not private) use, BB is the most secure phone/e-mail platform, and that's gotta be worth a lot when phones of at least two national leaders are getting hacked. For non-corporate use, they're not secure because they allow governments of India, at least, to spy on their customers.

      If senior executives travel to (say) China, they

  • The slashdot headline says "..Back in Profit." Unfortunately not so.

    The original article is informative. Under Chen's leadership Blackberry has
    increased their profitability so they are no longer losing so much money.

    They are, however, NOT PROFITABLE. Their loss prior to some accounting
    tricks (that will make the number worse) is $0.11/shr. That means an
    investor holding 1000 shares just lost $110 (if he/she sold them).

    While profitability as a measure of how well a company performs is good,
    and acknowledgin

  • by Prune (557140) on Saturday June 21, 2014 @06:45PM (#47290247)
    Just use Snap to get full access to Google's Android app store. It's unofficial, but works great. Not all Android apps work, but plenty do. http://redlightoflove.com/snap... [redlightoflove.com]
  • That's unpossible
  • by gavron (1300111) on Sunday June 22, 2014 @03:02AM (#47291917)

    The slashdot headline says "..Back in Profit." Unfortunately not so.

    The original article is informative. Under Chen's leadership Blackberry has
    increased their profitability so they are no longer losing so much money.

    They are, however, NOT PROFITABLE. Their loss prior to some accounting
    tricks (that will make the number worse) is $0.11/shr. That means an
    investor holding 1000 shares just lost $110 (if he/she sold them).

    While profitability as a measure of how well a company performs is good,
    and acknowledging that LOSING MILLIONS is a lot better than LOSING
    HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS (see e.g. Radio Shack)... Blackberry has a
    long long way to go.

    The article ends with the two avenues Blackberry is pursuing: hardware and
    software (how inventive, right?)
    - Hardware: they're going to try and create Internet enabled gadgets. As
    Blackberry's core hardware competence has always been its bundled
    business services this is a big departure. They fight uphill against
    Samsung watches, Apple gizmos, Google's Nest, etc.
    - Sofware: They bought the right to allow their product to access the
    Amazon Play Store (android apps from Amazon only). The win here
    is they prove their product REALLY CAN run android apps. The lose
    is that instead of opening it up to the Google Play store (most
    android apps) they've allowed a limited (by Amazon) subset of apps,
    and most designed to siphon extra $$$ and hand them off to Amazon.
    This is something we can expect to see Amazon touting as a win in
    it's 10Q.

    I wish them well. I was surprised by the headline. BlackBerry is
    doing well to reduce loss, and less loss is higher profitability, but
    they're still chewing threw their cash and unless they stem and
    correct that they will be gone.

    E

  • Selling phones below cost and major cost cutting doesn't turn into a positive long term trend. It just gets the CEO paid well for a while, nice golden parachute and lines them up for a job with a company that actually has a chance of surviving.

    I like blackberry. Good solid hardware. The OS is far better than ios or android, at least until recently. The security is excellent.

    But they rested on their laurels too long and everything they're doing now is too little, too late. I'm sure that certain vertical

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