BlackBerry's Q1 2014 earnings call proved to be a difficult pill for many to swallow. Between the time the press release was published, and the actual call finished, $BBRY's stock dropped about 25%, an insane drop off by Wall Street. But what was specifically so negative about the call? Let's take a look at a couple of key points.
In terms of the actual sales figures, the numbers weren't pretty. BlackBerry was only able to ship 6.8m units total in Q1. Out of those, only 2.7m were BlackBerry 10. While this is technically an increase from the 1m BB10 units shipped in the previous quarter, it falls way below anyone's true expectations.
This quarter included two of BlackBerry's strongest markets, U.K. and Canada, having the Q10 available to them. The thought process was that the Q10 would be BlackBerry's saving grace, and these two key markets were going to kickstart a resurgence.
At the same time, these numbers included the Z10's availability in the U.S., India, and most countries in LATAM. This is why shipping (not selling) only 2.7m combined Z10 and Q10s in this quarter can be considered abysmal.
The subscriber base also took a dip from 76m users down to 72m. It's still foggy exactly how BlackBerry calculates these numbers and whether or not they include BB10 owners, but it doesn't matter moving forward. BlackBerry's CFO indicated the company would no longer be reporting user base numbers in future earnings reports.
BlackBerry also announced they're working a BlackBerry 7 device that will launch this year as part of the 6 devices on tap for 2013. It's not surprising for them to be looking into BB7 again seeing as how the legacy OS outsold BlackBerry 10 for a second consecutive quarter.
Thorsten Heins also dropped the hammer on the BlackBerry PlayBook when he let the world know the company's first, and only tablet, would not be receiving a BlackBerry 10 update. According to Heins, BB10 on the PlayBook was not a good experience, and while future updates and support will happen, BlackBerry 10 itself was not feasible. If you follow our blog closely, you already knew that though.
On the positive side, BlackBerry did increase their cash at hand, up to $3.1B. BlackBerry needs to use some of this money to increase marketing and keep working on getting more big name apps on board.
BBM for iOS and Android are still on schedule to be launched this summer. While Heins wouldn't comment on specific dates, many of us believe BBM will be going cross platform in August of this year. Along with BBM going cross platform, Channels should be making its official debut around the same time frame on BlackBerry devices first. Channels, BBM Voice, and Video will follow along to iOS and Android later this year.
Nobody said it would be easy to turn this around. It's definitely not happening over night, and while things look bleak, the hope of a comeback is still there. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.