These days, big technology companies—particularly those in the hyper-competitive mobile phone and tablet industries—are starting to resemble big film production houses. Similar to opening week at the movies, every mobile phone or tablet release needs to be a blockbuster and the only measure of success are the gross unit shipments and corresponding sales in the initial weeks. Sell big or die fast seems to be the harsh market reality.
Take the case of BlackBerry, the Canadian device maker which invented the concept of on-the-go email more than a decade ago with clunky little devices with a mini keyboard. The gadgets, which offered powerful security features, allowed the company to corner the lucrative market serving business and legal professionals as well as government workers. But competition soon followed and many in that market are now moving to other devices—especially Apple Inc.'s iPhone and mobile phones using Google’s Android technology—leaving BlackBerry struggling to make its mark both at the top and the bottom of a competitive smartphone market.
Cut to the present. BlackBerry is charting a new course by officially adopting its iconic brand name. Its new platform and products are raising eyebrows, especially among those who had written off the company and its previous products. First quarter results for the three months ended June 1, 2013 might have prompted ever-deeper skepticism about a long-promised turnaround, but company officials are quick to point out that there are always challenges in the transition period and the company is staying on course for rapid growth in the future.
“During the first quarter, we continued to focus our efforts on the global roll out of the BlackBerry 10 platform,” said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry. “We are still in the early stages of this launch, but already, the BlackBerry 10 platform and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 are proving themselves to customers to be very secure, flexible and dynamic mobile computing solutions. Over the next three quarters, we will be increasing our investments to support the rollout of new products and services, and to demonstrate that BlackBerry has established itself as a leading player in next generation mobile computing solutions for both consumer and enterprise customers.”
BlackBerry’s revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 was $3.1 billion, up 15% from $2.7 billion in the