BlackBerry's performance in its first full BB10-era quarter was always going to be closely watched, and today the figures for the crucial three months ending in May were revealed.
And it's not the best of news, all told. Overall the company posted losses of $84m, while of the 6.8m units shipped over the quarter, just 2.72m were new BlackBerry 10 devices.
Revenues for the quarter came in at $3.1bn (up 15% on the previous quarter and 9% on last year), but that amounted to an $84m loss overall, or $0.16 per share.
As for device shipments (note shipments, not sales), only a total figure of 6.8m smartphones (plus 100,000 PlayBook tablets) was given in the official earnings report, without any details as to how that broke down in terms of older BlackBerry 7 OS and newer BB10 handsets – in other words, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10.
The closest we got was a statement from BlackBerry boss Thorsten Heins.
“During the first quarter, we continued to focus our efforts on the global roll out of the BlackBerry 10 platform,” Heins is quoted as saying. “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.”
Hardly informative stuff, and predictably the tech press immediately pounced to say the lack of specifics could mean only one thing: the numbers are bad.
BlackBerry did belatedly reveal the official numbers (via the earnings conference call), though the fact we didn't get them in the initial report speaks volumes. Anyway, overall 2.72m BlackBerry 10 devices were shipped from March to May, though we still don't know how many were actually sold.
Whatever the number it doesn't paint an overly optimistic picture of how things are going so far for BlackBerry 10, especially with the total BB subscriber base down 4 million users to now stand at 72 million.
That said, it must be remembered that even at the start of March the BlackBerry Z10 had by no means rolled out globally, while the QWERTY-based Q10 will have only contributed a small portion of total sales. So its still early days, in other words.
But however good, bad or understandable the truth is, BlackBerry's finds itself very much on the back foot just when it must have hoped things would start looking up.