BlackBerry finds comeback hard going: Page 2 of 2
By Edwin Yapp July 22, 2013
'We need more time’
Still, BlackBerry chief executive officer Thorsten Heins, who was installed to his unenviable position in January 2012, believes that the company is on the right track.
In an interview with the New York Times, the combative executive spoke of how it will take time for BlackBerry to find its footing in the smartphone world again.
“We’re only five months in,” The Times quoted him as saying in a conference call.
Heins pointed out that not all BlackBerry 10 models were available in all markets during the quarter, and that the Q10 (pic), a BlackBerry with a physical keyboard, went on sale in the United States only this month.
But he did warn investors that further losses were likely this year as the company increases spending on BlackBerry 10 promotion and advertising, the broadsheet noted, adding that 55-year-old Norwegian had again asked for time and a chance for the BlackBerry 10 to prove itself.
But despite pleading for more time and staying confident about his turnaround plans, Heins has been careful not to reveal too much by way of numbers, particularly how many units of the new BlackBerrys the company has shipped, which is not normally the case, according to Forrester’s Golvin.
“When people are actually happy with the numbers, they tell you the numbers,” Golvin said in The Times.
Meanwhile, Forbes quoted analyst James Faucette at Pacific Crest Securities as saying the Blackberry had used "breathlessly buzz-worthy quotes" that create the impression that the operating system had been successful, by saying that "BlackBerry tripled its best-ever performance for a new phone in Britain."
The analyst believes that BlackBerry has been producing between 1.5 and 2 million BlackBerry 10 devices each month but selling "well below 500,000," Forbes noted.
Faucette said that members of BlackBerry’s management have consistently avoided giving hard sales figures to investors and the press, even though many "have staked very large portions of their personal holdings on BlackBerry’s ultimate success," noted the business portal.
Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co told The Times that BlackBerry should cut its losses in hardware and concentrate on the profitable businesses, a notion that Heins rejected as he believe his customers want a one-stop option for their communications needs.
But not all analysts feel the lacklustre performance of BlackBerry is something to immediately worry about. Ramon Llamas, research manger at IDC, said that the company’s turnaround and its switch to a new operating system was always going to take awhile.
“Renaissances don’t take place overnight,” the Times quoted Llamas as saying. “They can be long and take time.”
Up next: How BlackBerry is faring in the largest nation to use it outside of the United States