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back to article BlackBerry BLOODBATH! Company warns of nearly $1bn quarterly loss

BlackBerry surprised Wall Street by releasing its second quarter earnings early on Friday, but it was hardly the kind of surprise where a dancer jumps out of a cake. The Canadian smartphone maker warned the market that it expects to post revenues of around $1.6bn when it files its formal earnings report on September 27 – a …

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Bronze badge
Pint

Ouch.

Another Canadian success story.

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Re: Ouch.

Yup. "Valuable patents" sounds familiar. Lay everyone off, sell off the intellectual property, gut the employee pension fund, fold up and die.

Face it - Canada is just a warehouse of raw materials to be used by companies that can actually compete in a global economy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ouch.

Thanks to the guvament.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ouch.

Do we have another Kodak - not realising the world had moved on (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and end up eeking out an existence selling their patents.

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WTF?

Don't knock the Kanucks

Canada survived the recession much better than we did. We have imported their top talent to run our bank better than we can. They're wonderful people, apart from Torontonians. They have a wonderful country. We should be so lucky!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ouch.

LOL, Windows phone....

It's just a two horse race, consumers with any sense don't buy Windows Phone, as they too can see it's as dead as Blackberry is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ouch.

"It's just a two horse race, consumers with any sense don't buy Windows Phone"

Nope - not anymore - Windows phone is growing market share at circa +70% a year. It already hit 10% share of sales in a number of countries. Now that Microsoft bought Nokia's devices arm to help fight The Borg and Android, I would expect that share to grow even more rapidly...

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Bronze badge

Re: Ouch.

*Sigh*

Kodak didn't realise that the world had moved on and suddenly collapsed. Blackberry appears to be in the same state.

Here's hoping the same thing happens to all those who post the usual knee-jerk anti-Windows-Phone comments without having any kind of argument to back their opinions up beyond "It's Microsoft"...

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Re: Ouch.

Kodak did realise the world was moving on, they invented a lot of the technology behind digital photography. The problem was they had a business that depended on manufacturing, distributing and processing film. They couldn't dismantle the manufacturing and the vast distribution, retail and processing network fast enough, and it wasn't obvious what business they could move into that would allow them to continue to operate at that scale. Whatever Blackberry is, they're not another Kodak.

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Unhappy

It isn't sales and marketing that's lacking. It's the fucking phones that are lacking. They are in no way bad products, it is just that they are products from 2009.

I'm not normally a big management hater, but Christ, they've got zero direction, with anything. Pick a path, any path, and run with it. It'll work or it won't but even the closing paragraphs of the article highlight the fact they've lost their rudder. They're rejiggering a basically brand new strategy and product line, but with no more consideration for the new plans than they put into the old ones. Just blaaerrrgh everywhere.

I hate to see them die like this. Their phones were my best friends for ages and the company was one of my favorites. But this slow death is just awful. Maybe it is even a fate worse than being swallowed by MS. At least then not everybody would lose their investment.

Ha! They should hire Elop to deal with this. The groundwork is already done. He'll be able to put this thing out of its misery in two quarters or less!

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No. Just no.

They're phones from 2012, but at prices from 2009. I'd better get myself a Z10 at the inevitable fire sale (749 pounds at launch, lol!).

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Re: No. Just no.

Yep. Prices of the new phones were simply too high. You can get away with that kind of pricing for iPhones and top end Android, or to some enterprises - but not for a relatively unknown platform. Blackberry needed to get some £120 Tesco-phones into the market OR focus completely on enterprise phones. No ficus equalled failure.

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Holmes

@Don Jefe - "I hate to see them die like this."

Why? Haven't we seen this movie before with tech companies? Repeatedly?

The top guys made their billions. The engineers will land on their feet with good jobs at good companies. And the sales and marketing staff will go back to schlepping medical products or used cars - either one of which they are poorly prepared to actually "sell".

Which group do you feel sorry for? What I feel sorry for is my now-useless thumbs - I hate jabbing at gorilla glass with my fat fingers.

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Silver badge

I feel sorry for the lot of them. Yay for the folks that made a lot of money, but RIM was actually a decent company. That's probably what killed them. Well, that and the stupid management structure. They could have leveraged market dominance and lowballed their phones to play in the kiddie pool with other junk and hobble Android before it even got started by leveraging their carrier partners to block them off, but they didn't. They could have loaded their consumer phones up with factory intrusion mechanisms and built a marketplace solely around capturing and selling user data, but they didn't. They tried compete by being a decent company. Tried to do something more than just make a quick Loonie.

It's fairly low to not give a shit about a lot of people who are losing good jobs because of simple bad decision making. They weren't manipulating their company and employees to increase today's share price. They weren't acting like MS or Apple, being dicks because they could. If they went to court it was because they felt they had been wronged. Not to screw someone else. For a global leader in any industry I think they set a standard that a lot of other companies should try to live up to.

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Agree

I also like Blackberry (formerly known as RIM) and have stayed on the boat since 2008. In fact, I'm currently toting a brand new 9790, despite many asking me why haven't I migrated to Android or iOS. I haven't done so for security reasons (these are FIPS 140-2 and have real security built from the ground up) and privacy issues (I don't want Google slurping up my stuff). It is sad to see them slowly go down; I had previously seen Nokia as a possible jumpaway boat but Elop killed that option. I'm truly worried about MS circling BB, as I would definitely jump ship if they get their grubby hands on them. There's no way I'll ever use anything MS branded on my smartphone.

If only BB could release low-end BB10 handsets, they might get back some of the smartphone market. Not all of us are app hoarders.

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Re: Agree

"If only BB could release low-end BB10 handsets, they might get back some of the smartphone market. Not all of us are app hoarders."

Too late for that. Just as Nokia wasn't sufficiently nimble against the emerging Apple & Android competition, so BB weren't. For the six years or so that took us from the original iPhone and Galaxy through to the iPhone 5 and the S4, regardless of apps, BB simply wasn't in that hardware market, with (until far too recently) no good hardware other than for hardware keyboard fetishists, and no credible OS for the smartphone world. Had the latest products been launched three years earlier, they might have had a chance,but when you lay off 40% of your workforce, and you're not selling your new product, developed as a "bet the ship" gamble, there's nowhere to go (other than Redmond).

All but the most ignorant phone buyers can smell smoke and hear the crackle of flames, so nobody in their right mind (other than hardware rooters) is going to buy anything labelled Blackberry now, sadly.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree

"FIPS 140-2"

You're kidding, right?

Tamper-resistant packaging on a crypto module where the algorithm and the embodiment are likely back-doored by the NSA.

Read the news lately?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree

Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and WIndows RT are also FIPS 140-2 certified by the way....

The imminent death of Blackberry opens the door wider for Windows Phone in the enterprise...It's the only real remaining option that is secure and easily manageable...

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Re: No. Just no.

RonWheeler: "No ficus equalled failure"

Yep, they didn't give a fig.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree

"It's the only real remaining option that is secure and easily manageable"

Tripe. Android is perfectly secure an manageable in the corporate environment.

http://www.informationweek.com/software/application-optimization/google-play-opens-private-app-store-for/240143790

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree

"Android is perfectly secure an manageable in the corporate environment."

LOL. Android is by far the most insecure mobile OS on the market. If you really want the NSA to listen to everything you do then Android is the most likely to help them achieve that....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agree

Prove it

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more staff lay offs

They still have staff left to sack. ? if they still have 10,000 staff left ( before this round of redundancies ) what on earth are/were they doing ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: more staff lay offs

A few thousand were making secure phones for the Dod and won a contract for .... 20000 phones. But after Snowdon noone believes they're secure anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: more staff lay offs

Maybe I'm missing something, but they're a Canadian company not US, hardly see them of all people (who places security as the first and main feature) co-operating with a US agency.

Heck the reason why the American government department uses them is probably *because* they know the other American companies phones has backdoors.

I'd say after Snowden disclosures even after we know that spy agencies has produced spywares and trojans for phones (search for the blackberry snowden disclosure), the fact that they need to do that (create tailored trojans) means Blackberry isn't co-operating with them willingly unlike all the other American companies that has little choice but to comply.

Maybe it isn't obvious but we've seen over the past decades many news about Blackberry being banned from certain countries for not willing to comply to provide local government access whereas there is hardly any (if there is any) news about other phone platforms causing a problem for governments. That in itself is telling enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: more staff lay offs

"...we've seen over the past few years many news items about Blackberry being allowed to continue selling into certain countries due to them ultimately complying with government direction to provide local government access..."

There, I fixed it for you.

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Re: more staff lay offs

The Canadian government is rather cooperative in most US endeavors. Maybe not as far as mandating back doors in Blackberry products, but as a participant in the largest trading relationship on the planet they are subject to more US leverage than most.

There's a reason the Canadian Embassy in DC is by far the largest foreign embassy in the country, they're big buddies. Except for Vietnam and Iraq the Canadian government generally acquiesces to US desires. Even in Iraq they provided a vital support role.

General public opinion in Canada is about 50/50 (maybe a tad lower lately) on a positive US view but closer to 85/15 positive in Ottawa. Like most modern democracies, the views of their leadership don't mesh with those of the electorate. The Canadian people are exceptional and probably my favorite people on Earth, but their government is comprised of mostly the same interchangeable quasi-sleezeballs that make up most Western governments. There's no historical reason to indicate they wouldn't cooperate with the US on shady 'national security' issues.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: more staff lay offs

"Maybe I'm missing something, but they're a Canadian company not US, hardly see them of all people (who places security as the first and main feature) co-operating with a US agency."

I like the sentiment, but sadly, yes, you are missing something:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes

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Re: more staff lay offs

@AC 21/9 11:19

Smug tnuc

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crackberry spin

I was still surprised, I guess I should not of been but was reading the take on this on crackberry.com and one user comment summed it up quite nicely

"An atom bomb could be dropped on Waterloo and Crackberry would still try to find a way to spin it into good news."

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Silver badge

Elop to the rescue

Elop to the rescue, Canadian, after all. Expert on burning platforms, or, should I say burning platforms, decently cheep and with a final solution in his pocket. The happy end manager, now available for at least six months. No more is needed, he is a proved expert by now.

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wow

You knew this company was FUBAR when they had co CEOs. Seriously though how the hell could they not know this was coming. Their have been warning signs since before the launch of BB10. This is HP mobile all over again.

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quiet in here

Where are all the BB fanbois that were telling us how BB10 was going to change everything?

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Re: quiet in here

Just because Blackberry is in trouble doesn't change the fact that they still have the best Mobile OS currently available. It's a sad but repeating pattern in tech that the best products seldom win.

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Facepalm

Re: quiet in here

Poor marketing for Blackberry though. They worked themselves into the corporate darling marketplace, and they almost ignored the consumer marketplace and social, fun and personalized applications. Low and behold, consumers started buying iPhones and Android phones and then insisted that their employers support those if they wanted around the clock access to their employees.

Tech good, business plan bad is a lot worse than business plan good, tech bad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: quiet in here

"...the best Mobile OS currently available..."

QNX-based BB10? You're kidding, right?

I understand where you're probably coming from, but it'd be the same logic as preferring to live in a Turkish prison cell because the building's foundation has wonderfully engineered footings.

As a mobile OS eco-system (i.e. when the device is used for purposes other than browsing Crackberry), it's inherently third rate.

Blackberry is one of those companies that should have installed a 'Decision Inverter' into their Meeting Minutes Process flow. Don't touch the management, just invert all their key decisions.

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FAIL

Re: quiet in here

QNX-based BB10? You're kidding, right?

QNX is fantastic. BlackBerry have done all the hard work turning an embedded system in a user-facing one, with Android support. Might be interesting to see whether Google decides to pick them up for the enterprise customers (it would be a great way to cross-sell Google docs on company hardware) and an option to move from Linux to QNX.

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Meh

Re: quiet in here

You've got it wrong way round. RIM ignored the corporate market to cater to consumers. Why else do you think the #1 'Businessmans Tech Gadget' became so popular with kids?

RIM assumed their corporate business was secure because of their underlying technology and they failed to add the consumer oriented features that business folk also wanted. They had this strange idea that business people were somehow 'above' or immune to shiny things. Anyone who has ever worked at a medium/medium large company knows that isn't true.

They could have maintained corporate dominance, keeping the core market that made them so successful, but they ignored them to cater, poorly, to consumers. Consumers are too fickle, too fashion driven and have no loyalty to anything. They became heavily dependent on the massive, low margin, product churn associated with the consumer market instead of high margin sales and services contracts to the corporate and government world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: quiet in here

Just LOL @ "the best Mobile OS". No. QNX is inefficient and bloated like Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: quiet in here

Best in what way?

Best usability?

Best performance?

Best features?

Best architecture?

As much as I like QNX, it is the application layer that counts.

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My final offer to Blackberry

I'm ready to become your CEO, it can't be worse than what you already have, right? I need 7 digit salary for 2 years, and total control, I don't have time for internal politics and such. Rest we'll figure out. If someone from Blackberry sees this, reply to my comment and we'll take it from there. You have 4 days to reply, thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My final offer to Blackberry

No singer or actress specified in your offer?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My final offer to Blackberry

@mraak

Offer accepted. Report to Security-Reception at 7:30am EDT Monday to sign in.

Ah, ...please, ...sir.

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"I'm not dead yet"

"Dead" Man: I'm not dead!

Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.

Large Man: Yes he is.

"Dead" Man: I'm not.

Dead Collector: He isn't.

Large Man: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Monty_Python_and_the_Holy_Grail

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Anonymous Coward

"How the analysts managed to miss the mark by such a wide margin isn't clear"

Investors pay far too much attention to these so called analysts.

Their predictions are never wrong - it's the company that is wrong for not meeting their expectations.

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Blackberry don't deserve to be in the market...

I owned the Blackberry Z10 from initial launch. I was prepared to dump my iPhone 4 (becoming awful at holding calls in low signal areas). Initially, the Z10 was quite a nice device. Okay design, sturdy and probably ahead of the Samsung generation of phones. But then I discovered some horrible stuff...

- Phone app was buggy (couldn't return to home if the screen locked mid-call)

- Account settings (like e-mail etc) would forget the password frequently

- Although I was willing to wait for the big apps (Spotify, a native Skype app etc) never came. Only Angry Birds was announced this week over 18 months since BB10 was launched to developers.

- Some features were misadvertised (Balance which split work/home apps and content)

- Updates have been very slow to fix issues (10.2 is still not out there and carrier's blocked 10.1 with a immediate release on some networks - don't make promises and not deliver)

Blackberry never grew a pair of balls to take control of their inventory and update mechanisms. Then the final blow for me when is when they released a 99xx phone with BBOS7 2 months back. What!? Okay, support the phones out there, but it was BBOS7 that rotted Blackberry's core.

The sleeping giant along side Nokia. If Blackberry had gone Android (as a medium term project) at least, maybe they'd of saved themselves.

Anyway, farewell Blackberry. My new iPhone 5C serves me well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blackberry don't deserve to be in the market...

"...My new iPhone 5C serves me well."

5C? C? Really? Not 5S?

Jeremy Clarkson: "Your ambition is rubbish."

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Re: Blackberry don't deserve to be in the market...

The 5C is better than you think. And I dislike the 5/5S design. Some personal choices there. Even a 5C is a huge step up.

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