BlackBerry’s grand experiment is underway: after years of sagging sales for smartphones running the company’s own mobile platform, the manufacturer has expanded its horizons to the world of Android, and just a few weeks back we saw the arrival of the Priv. But even before the Priv got here, we knew that the stakes were high for the phone, with BlackBerry looking to see Priv-driven sales push the company’s handset business up into the five-million-a-year range. Is there any chance of that happening? Today BlackBerry’s sharing some of its first financial data since Priv sales have begun, and while we’re going to need a lot more time before we have a full picture of the Priv’s success, these early figures seem relatively promising.
While this quarterly data only represents the first three weeks of Priv availability, the numbers we’re hearing could suggest the phone’s off to a strong start, contributing to total quarterly sales hitting some 700K units – we don’t have a breakdown for the Priv alone just yet.
That sounds pretty good, but keep in mind that it’s the long-term commercial viability of the Priv that will make or break BlackBerry’s sales target, and we’re going to need more data before we have a real sense for its chances of doing so.
As for the big picture, BlackBerry posted a Q3 loss, but even that’s not totally bad news; investors already predicted that BlackBerry would show a loss, but in reality the situation is much less severe than anticipated. Instead of losses coming in at 14 cents a share, they’re only at 3 cents a share, and revenue of $557 million is some $80 million higher than predicted. A loss is still a loss, sure, but this is a much stronger showing than BlackBerry was expected to have.