BlackBerry’s Attempts at Reviving its Fortunes Ahead of Earnings Next Week
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/20/2013 -- Come September 21st, owners of iOS and Android devices would finally be able to download and use BBM, BlackBerry’s messaging app. BlackBerry’s EVP for BBM Andrew Bocking, has stated that currently with no single ‘dominant’ mobile messaging platform available, this was the best time for them to go ahead and launch the cross-platform version of BBM.
While BBM currently has a strong foothold in emerging markets, thanks to increasing sales of BlackBerry 7 smartphones, this move would definitely be a major boost to increase BBM’s share in these areas. Speaking at BBRY’s Q1 results call this July, CEO Thorsten Heins gave out some interesting facts about BBM pointing out that BBM’s ‘hyper engaged user base’ uses BBM for an average of 90 minutes per user per day. In stark comparison, people only spend 400 minutes per month on mobile on other traditional social networks. Thorsten Heins quoted these stats from a recent report.
BBM on the iOS/Android platforms could also open up other avenues for BlackBerry to offer additional value-added services, similar to ones they currently provide to BBM’s installed user base. Another potential cross benefit could come from BBM Channels, which was launched in beta this year in May. BBM Channels enables channel creators to collect an unlimited number of followers along with creating dedicated channels to share info at speeds comparable to BBM.
Also at the Q1 call, Thorsten Heins said the plan to bring the BBM service for free to iOS and Android was mainly in response to users wanting to be able to connect to their friends and family irrespective of which make or model of smartphone they carried.
With the WSJ reporting that BlackBerry could see up to 40% of its staff go, the cost saving initiatives CFO Brian Bidulka had spoken about at the same earnings event seem to be taking effect. Along with the operating loss expected in Q2, he had commented that “we will continue to implement cost savings initiatives in order to drive greater efficiency throughout the company and redirect capital from these savings investments that we would expect to drive the future revenue”. BlackBerry employed approximately 12,700 employees as of March 2013.
On September 18th, BlackBerry also launched its new Z30 smartphone, featuring a 5-inch Super AMOLED Display and a large 2880 mAh battery. In their release launching the product, they state that the new battery along with the BB 10 OS v10.2 should provide up to 25 hours of ‘mixed use’ battery life.
Following these measures, the question still remains, are these steps enough to turn things around? All eyes (and ears) would be on BlackBerry’s earnings call next Friday when they release second quarter results and provide further updates. Visit Earnings Impact on the 27th of September to access the fastest transcript of their Q2 earnings call, before the market reacts.
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