While many people continue to move away from BlackBerry, the new BlackBerry 10 devices are bringing some back into the fold, the company reported today.
BlackBerry service subscribers decreased 3 million to 76 million in the last quarter from a year earlier, but the company shipped nearly six million phones in its fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Of the six million, one million were new BlackBerry Z10 phones, which went on sale at the end of January in many countries and in the U.S. just last week. The Z10 is the first device to run the BlackBerry 10 software, which is a complete overhaul to the original BlackBerry interface.
"The BlackBerry 10 platform has been worth the wait," BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said on an earnings call this morning. Heins said that the platform has been a success and is bringing in new customers, ones that previously left the platform for other phones.
"Fifty-five percent of the Z10 customers globally are coming from platforms other than BlackBerry," Heins revealed on the call. BlackBerry has lost significant market share to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android phone in the last couple of years. Shipments of BlackBerry phones fell 40.9 percent in the second quarter of 2012, and the company's market share slipped to 4.8 percent, according to research firm IDC.
The BlackBerry Z10, the company's all-touchscreen device, will launch on 223 carriers this year, Heins said. The Q10 with a physical keyboard will be out in April.
Revenue for the quarter fell to $2.6 billion from $2.7 billion a year earlier. However, the company was still able to turn a profit of $98 million or 19 cents a share. The net loss for the completed fiscal year was $646 million.
"Our financial transformation over the past 12 months has been outstanding. To say it was a very challenging environment to deliver improved financial results could very well be the understatement of the year," the CEO said.
Heins said that the company would continue to look at other revenue sources, including cross platform offerings and licensing its new BlackBerry 10 software. In an interview with ABC News last week, Heins said that the company was also planning to go beyond the smartphone. Heins stressed that BlackBerry wants to be the company that figures out how people can consolidate all their computers. Instead of having a tablet, laptop and desktop that synchronize with software, Heins believes the phone can power it all.
"We are talking about a mobile-computing experience that makes sure that for you as a user, you only have to carry one computing device," he said during the interview. "Then you get peripherals around it that make your life much more easy than it is today carrying a tablet, carrying a smartphone, carrying a laptop, going to your office and having a desktop."
He said the company would discuss its plans at its BlackBerry Live conference in May.
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