BlackBerry is betting on a revival of its smartphones to help to restore its fortunes. The Canadian company confirmed that it would launch its first phone using the Android operating system, promising that the device, known as the Priv, would stand out from the crowd by “protecting our customers’ privacy”.
John Chen, the Toronto-based company’s chief executive, announced the device as it published worse-than-expected quarterly results.
“Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform,” Mr Chen said, indicating that the products’ added security features would differentiate it from other Android devices.
The company reported software and services revenue of $74 million in the past quarter, up from $62 million a year ago but lower than analysts’ expectations.
Excluding one-off items, BlackBerry reported a quarterly loss of $66 million, against an $11 million loss for the same period last year. Including the impact of a non-cash gain, it made a net profit of $51 million, compared with a loss of $207 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 46.5 per cent to $490 million in the quarter, well below the average expectation of $610.6 million.
BlackBerry shares were nearly 2 per cent down in early trading in New York.