Lately, it’s felt hard to find a way to justify spending a lot of time talking about BlackBerry. While the company appears to have staved off its demise, it’s not making a lot of forward progress, either, and even what little news we’ve brought you (like yesterday’s deal with Amazon to feature the company’s Appstore) often to just assert that the old glory days of a self-sufficient BlackBerry are gone for good. But for all the hardships BlackBerry has faced, the company’s still managing to keep its head above water, as evidenced by today’s publication of its Q1 financial figures.
Bottom line: BlackBerry’s turning a profit. Not a huge one by any stretch – just $23M over the course of the quarter – but that’s something. And considering how OEMs like HTC have swung below that profitability line on some of their own recent quarterly filings, it’s pleasantly refreshing to see BlackBerry in the black.
Cash-on-hand is up, and liabilities and expenses are down – both good signs. Still, it’s important to remember that we’re not talking about runaway success here; this is more performance along the lines of the barely-eking-by variety. But what it’s also not is a sign of a company that’s given up. BlackBerry’s a fighter, and maybe its efforts to streamline itself and focus on its best opportunities for profit really will be enough to keep the Waterloo ship sailing for quite a bit longer.
Update: OK, but isn’t much of this profit coming from enterprise services? What about just straight-up smartphone sales? How’s BlackBerry faring there? Well, it may need a little work still, but CEO John Chen is optimistic, explaining that he’s got a 10M unit target: if BlackBerry can sell just that many phones a year, it will be profitable when it comes to hardware.