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back to article BlackBerry revenue slips below $1bn as users shun BB10

BlackBerry's revenue slipped below a billion dollars in the fourth fiscal quarter for the first time since 2007, as its smartphone sales continued to slide, but its losses were slightly less than expected. The ailing Canadian firm reported a net loss of nearly $6bn for the year up to the start of March and a loss of $423m for …

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The Z30 is a bit large but would be my next phone if it was a bit cheaper. For some reason the Q10 is over £130 cheaper so mostly going to go with that.

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Anonymous Coward

Q10

The Q10 is now quite old in phone terms - mine is coming up for a year soon. I paid too much for it because I am a mug (and because I hate glass keyboards and my previous phone was obsolescent) but it does the job well and I feel Chen is right - BlackBerry will survive as a keyboard only phone company, especially if they can revisit the Playbook concept and create a cheap (this time) but efficient companion tablet that shares the phone data connection seamlessly.

Android is only now catching up with BB10 battery life, often with unremovable batteries and no micro SD slot. But BB10 is still catching up with BB7 features. I wonder if one of the concepts they are working on is a dual-OS phone, based on the Q10 but with the middle button row of the 9900?

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Q10

Q10 is a nice phone - my wife very pleased with it. That said, put a keyboard on a Windows, Android or Apple and she'd be just as happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Q10

You have just explained why BlackBerry is suing Typo for their BB keyboard rip-off for iPhone.

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Re: Q10

£4-500 was too expensive for the playbook. I got mine for £189 and am very happy with it.

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Re: Q10

Android is only now catching up with BB10 battery life, often with unremovable batteries and no micro SD slot.

Android has made some good improvements in battery life (especially at idle) recently but are you sure it's not partly down to the screen being much smaller on the Blackberry? A lot of the low/mid range Android devices can have good battery life thanks to a combination of lower spec SoC and a screen that's half the size of the 4-5.5" crowd.

I'm not sure I agree on the second point either, I assume there's more Android devices with removable batteries and micro SD slots than there are Blackberry devices?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Q10

@Simon Barker,

Fair comment. I've just looked at the GSMArena new battery life calculator, and there are now quite a lot of Androids with better battery life than the Q10 - though most of them are much bigger.

It isn't the display, though. If you look at their figures, most of the smaller phones have the worst battery life. And this is to be expected, because not only is the battery smaller, it is smaller in relation to the phone size. That's because certain things - USB sockets, jack sockets, aerials and the like - don't scale. A honking great phablet can have long battery life because its essential guts are the same size as those of a phone with a 4 inch screen, and a higher proportion of the volume can be battery. Especially if that battery is non-removable.

On the GSM website, the life of the Q10 is as originally tested. I've found that the software updates have improved standby power quite noticeably, though I expect the same is true for Android. But the big factor is that after a year, a phone with a nonremovable battery will have lost maybe 15-20% of capacity,while if battery life matters to you, you can just swap in a new battery on a Samsung or a BlackBerry.

So let me correct myself. For its size, the Q10 has good battery life. And the Android phones I've also looked at that are reasonably state of the art and fit my small hand, have all been rejected because I couldn't plug in my 64g SD card. Will that do?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Q10

My 16G was a free sample, which was about what it was worth to begin with. My 64G cost £129, which is what I think it was worth to have a companion device for a BB. £500 goes some way to explain why BB is now run by somebody called Chen who listens to customers.

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Re: Q10

The Androids with good battery life tend to be larger ones like Samsung's Note series which have a big screen and therefore more room behind the screen for a bigger battery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Q10

I got my 64GB Playbook for £119....

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Yes, I'd give it a try around $400 or if it were available from TMO w/ $0 down (eg $18/mo for 24 months like they did with the Z10.)

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Anonymous Coward

I hear the sound of the band playing while the ship continues to sink....

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Re: Q10

Well, the thing that puzzles me is why they just can't throw in a BB7 compatibility layer. They can throw in an Android one, and BB7 apps are also mostly Java ME anyway.

That said, love my Q5. It may be quite old like the Q10, but it definitely does what I need it to do, and it has shown that even though it's just dual core, it can pack quite a punch. Hope the Q20 does much more and has much more storage.

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Re: But BB10 is still catching up with BB7 features.

Yes. That is the main thing I dislike about the Q5. Other than that it is a great phone.

Where OS 4 - 6 (never tried 7) are better.

1. Far better autocorrect.

2. Phonetic Russian keyboard.

These two are very strange omissions, because surely they are simply data structures that could be re-used from the old OS.

3. Plain text setting for email accounts.

4. Delete quoted text from reply to email.

5. Timed on/off.

6. Alarm works if phone is off

7. Volume control acts as a cursor (OS 4) or there is a proper cursor.

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There's still demand for Blackberry 7 devices where? The EU? Africa? Definitely not in the USA and probably not in GB, either. But hey, 30% of inventory has been reduced. That means that 70% of inventory is just sitting in warehouses, gathering dust. Releasing a Touch screen device first, was a stupid idea. They never should've released the Z10 first place. The Q10 first and Z30 later, would've been better. Also, releasing them everywhere else first but the USA apparently didn't work for them either. I'd like to see Blackberry succeed, but is focusing on Blackberry 7 devices, really going to dig BB out of this hole?

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Places who don't want to pay for the new BES 10 server upgrade licenses as they are unsure whether they will bin it.

A lot of Business Users still don't have the option of BYOD so have to get whatever they are given.

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But hey, 30% of inventory has been reduced. That means that 70% of inventory is just sitting in warehouses, gathering dust."

THIS - I nominate this to be the most clueless post of entire March - it was a strong field out there this month but this was clearly the most embarrassing, utterly clueless loudmouthing in the past few weeks.

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There's still demand for Blackberry 7 devices where?

A large chunk is probably public sector. Highly-secure mobile comms, low handset cost and dirt-cheap data plans. Most already have the server infrastructure well-established, so adding extra users isn't a problem. Physical keypad is preferred, and fancy functions are often disabled by group policy. If Blackberry keep selling sturdy, reliable phones then they might rescue a niche market.

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They hope to break even

They hope to break even before they run out of cash. That must be comforting.

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Anonymous Coward

Here is what went wrong

BB10 is a much better OS than BB7 but sold less because BB10 devices were way too expensive, were poorly marketed, and require enterprises to install a brand new BES. You can blame the previous CEO, Thorsten Heins, for the absurd device pricing, the Alicia Keys marketing, and the burn-all-bridges BES10 product plan. Chen is doing his best to unscramble that omelette.

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I think my Q10 is brilliant

I have just replaced my phone with a second hand q10, and it is possibly one of the best phones I have ever used. The multi tasking is true multi tasking (although the 8 app limit is annoying), the email/message etc hub is really useful and push email is as it should be - quick and efficient. Add in the brilliant browser and the ability to run android apps and I am very happy.

The exorbitant pricing for the new devices was part of the problem but the other thing is that bb's marketing has been shocking - most people don't even realise they have new models out. Add in the herd mentality (people only buy what everyone else has, hence why only apple and Samsung make all the profit) and the fashionable idea that 'blackberrys are crap' and you have the perfect storm of zero profit for blackberry. It's a real shame, as I personally think that neither apple or samsung devices are worth the money, and with samsung especially I think the ui is horrible - I think, sparse App Store aside, a modern bb would suit many people (at the right price) better that whatever the phone shop person has pushed on them. Best of luck to Chen.

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Meh

Bold? No thanks!

Big fan of BES and the old BBs but I think the Bold was an awful phone, primarily because of the tiny touchscreen. I must be one of the few BB users that would actually prefer NO keyboard, the Torch with the slide-out keyboard was a reasonable compromise but the Z10 has a much better screen.

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Correction: users simply do not know about BB10...

...but even the ones who heard about it will be literally talked out of it - just go to any cell store and ask about BB10 and watch the sales staff start making faces, smirking while flat-out trying to dissuade you from even taking a look at BB10 by trash-talking it or even downright lying about BlackBerry and BB10.

BB got a terrible PR problem, it's been like this for over a year now and they still don't seem to have clue how to fix it.

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Facepalm

BB10

One work colleague said that he hated his BlackBerry Curve and wanted a Windows phone, or an iPhone like mine..... which I pointed out to him was actually a! BlackBerry Z10.... 'is that new, I've never heard of that....' so much for marketing!

The organisation has BES7 servers, so what, I use the MS Exchange support for email.

He has gone off to hassle the IT Dept for a Z10 now.

Good job I didn't show him my Jolla phone, which I prefer in some ways to the Z10.

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jai
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loss was eight cents a share, but analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 55 cents a share

Analysts! Even when the news is bad, they haven't got a clue!

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