BlackBerry sells 6.8 million smartphones, makes a loss in its first fiscal quarter

Smartphone shipments were below analyst expectations, and the company didn't break out figures for BlackBerry 10 phones

BlackBerry shipped 6.8 million smartphones and recorded a US$84 million loss during the three months to June 1, as it struggles to turn around its fortunes.

The first of BlackBerry's fiscal year was the first true referendum on how the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones have been received by consumers and business users -- although the company didn't break out sales figures for those phones.

In total, BlackBerry shipped 6.8 million smartphones in the quarter, the company said Friday as it released its quarterly earnings, disappointing analysts. Shipments of 7.7 million phones would have been an "OK" result, according to IDC's Francisco Jeronimo.

BlackBerry reported revenue of US$3.1 billion, up 9 percent from the same period a year earlier. Net loss from continuing operations for the quarter was $84 million, compared to a net loss of $510 million a year earlier.

BlackBerry's OSes had a 2.9 percent market share during the first three months of the calendar year, compared to 6.4 percent during the same period in 2012. To grow sales, BlackBerry has to do a couple of things.

"It needs strong campaigns to drive awareness of the new platform and user experience; new devices at lower price points, and to refocus on the enterprise segment where they still have a chance. The consumer segment is lost and the only chance is on the enterprise segment, particularly the large enterprises," Jeronimo said.

The smartphone market remains highly competitive, making it difficult to estimate units, revenue and levels of profitability, according to BlackBerry.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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