A few takeaways from the latest BlackBerry SEC filing

By Chris Umiastowski on 2 Oct 2013 12:14 pm EDT

Only twelve days ago BlackBerry pre-announced weak Q2 results, followed by a weekend deal with Fairfax Financial ahead of the normally scheduled financial results conference call that was to take place this past Friday. As followers of the stock are well aware, BlackBerry canceled its conference call and published it’s results without giving analysts a chance to ask questions.

As happens every quarter, BlackBerry has now followed up its press release with a full SEC filing, including the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” section, which makes for very dry reading, but is necessary to dig through if you want to know what’s happening in the business.

Note that the NYT online contributor Ian Austen called this a “delayed regulatory filing”, which is factually incorrect. They always file with the SEC within a few days of the quarterly results press release. The best case is a same-day filing with public availability of the filing later that day, and often it’s not available until at least the next business day. I still think the company made a mistake by canceling its conference call, but it’s absolutely wrong to say a regulatory filing was delayed.

Re-tiering the Z10 as an entry level device

The most interesting bit of information in my late-night (very tired, and already in bed) read of the filing was the discussion around the Z10. No, not the discussion of the inventory write down. Instead, I am curious about the statement that,

“With the recent launch of the BlackBerry Z30, the Company plans to re-tier the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone to make it available to a broader, entry-level audience. Going forward, the Company plans to refocus its product and services offerings on its end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and prosumers.”

As a reminder, the company said it would pull back to only four BlackBerry 10 devices, rather than six. Two of them would be for the high end of the market, and two would be for the entry level market. If the Z10 is re-tiered as an entry level device then presumably it, along with the Q5, make up those two entry-level devices.  This leaves the Q10 and the Z30 as the high end devices.

This seems weird. The Q10 and Z10 have pretty much the same specs. So unless they’re planning to kill the Q10 and release a Q30, I think this re-tiering plan comes across as strange and confusing.

BlackBerry 10 sell through is very weak

“During the second quarter of fiscal 2014, approximately 5.9 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold through to end customers, which included shipments made prior to the second quarter of fiscal 2014 and which reduced the Company’s inventory in channel. Of the devices that sold through to end customers in the second quarter of fiscal 2014, approximately 4.2 million were BlackBerry 7 devices. The number of BlackBerry smartphones that were sold through to end customers was 6.4 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 and 9.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.”

Do the math on this, and you’ll discover that only 1.7 million BlackBerry 10 units were actually put into the hands of end customers during Q2 (the August ended quarter). That’s pretty scary considering they recognized revenue on 2.7 million BlackBerry 10 units in the prior quarter (ended May). Obviously not all 2.7 million of those units were sold through to end customers in the May quarter, but any way you slice it the company is quantifying a significant decline in BB10 sales.

Lots of inventory still sitting around

This  quarter BlackBerry wrote down the value of its Z10 inventory by $934 million. For those unfamiliar with what this means it’s pretty simple. The company has way more Z10 inventory than it needs. Since they believe they can’t sell it for at least as much as it cost to build, they need to take an accounting (non cash) charge to reflect this.

Personally, I’d like to see the company use this excess Z10 inventory to seed devices into the enterprise market. The launch of a new platform requires getting to critical mass, and if you have to give away devices to help you get there, at least you increase your chances of success. Besides, it’s generally good marketing advice to offer discounts to the early adopters and then bring prices back in line with whatever “normal” is after an introductory discount period. Perhaps is BlackBerry had offered early adopter discounts on BlackBerry 10 from the get go, they’d be better positioned.

They recognize they screwed up in communicating the strategic alternatives

“The Company also believes that uncertainty surrounding its ongoing strategic review process may have negatively impacted demand for the Company’s products in the second quarter of fiscal 2014.”

For a while now we’ve been commenting that the general public doesn’t  understand what’s happening inside of the company. What was initially a strategic review drastically morphed into public perception that BlackBerry is going bankrupt, or being shut down, or something else horrible. It’s too bad this company hasn’t learned its lessons with respect to twisted messages and the media. Never give the media an opportunity to take a story, twist out out of context and amplify it’s volume to the general public. It’s always going to end badly.

Plenty of real estate assets

The company has lots of buildings and land, which it could sell. Although the MD&A did not specifically talk about potential sales, there have been media reports suggesting BlackBerry is looking to sell space. They hold land and buildings that, together, add up to about $1.4 billion on the balance sheet, although I can’t tell how much accumulated depreciation there is on the buildings. They don’t break it out separately. But if BlackBerry wanted to do a sale and lease back of it’s space, it looks like they have the potential to raise at least a few hundred million dollars.

Another $300 million in restructuring charges

When BlackBerry announced plans to cut 40% of staff late last month, the financial effect of this was not quantified.

The SEC filing reveals that restructuring charges to be incurred are now estimated at $400 million, up from $100 million previously. The difference, obviously, comes from the added 4500 job cuts. Again, this is painful ... but if you look at the results it is clearly necessary. 

Topics: BBRY Editorial

Reader comments

A few takeaways from the latest BlackBerry SEC filing


If they recognized they screwed up with public perception over the whole strategic alternatives, doesn't that show a lack of learning, as the same issue still exists if not more so with the LOI in place.

They just need to have Heinz replaced. I had high hopes for him in the beginning thanks to his charisma but that is clearly not enough to make BlackBerry successful.

via CB10 (BB Z10 : BLK : OS 10.1) [ Channel @ C0012477B for BB News, MMA & Tech Updates ]

I assume they announced the "strategic review" in an effort to persuade the markets they were dealing with the obvious issues. Worth remembering the stock has fallen like a stone over the past couple of years. At some point there will no doubt be a legal accounting for that fall. One thing we can't say is that we weren't warned.

And in any case all the above assumes the announcements etc were not part of a larger plan to take the company private. Given the timing of some of the decisions, you have to wonder.

If they lower the Z10 price and make it attractive as entry level I know several friends who will jump on it.

Posted via CB10

Not really. I'd say around $299.99 is more of a sweet spot.

via CB10 (BB Z10 : BLK : OS 10.1) [ Channel @ C0012477B for BB News, MMA & Tech Updates ]

They don't need to make a profit on it, in the traditional sense, as they already took the write down on the inventory. Every dollar generated from the sell of that inventory will be recognized as income (profit).

Like is mentioned in the article, the best outcome of selling the written down inventory is to get the devices in someones hands, be it enterprise or regular consumers.

400 are way toooo high for an entry device...

As Chris well explained, better having the devices off their stack and out in the wild in the hands of the people / employees. Offer the companies to migrate completely to BES10 and replace the devices with a hefty discount, "buy one get two more for free"...

Posted via CB10

For a phone that is now considered EOL. It shouldn't be more than $99 U.S. The price and lack of healthy ecosystem is why the phone is unsold and being pulled from carrier shelves. $400 is a ridiculous price for this phone. Sorry.

It cost them about $200 to make each one. If they have written them down to basically $0 worth, then they can sell them for $225 delivered and the $1Billion write down will disappear or be a positive in the next quarter or two, won't it?

my point is that shops will not sell their Z10 under the price they bought them to BlackBerry, and that price is certainly higher than the cost of making a Z10 unit.

iphone is made in china and the 5 has mostly lower specs, lower res screen, less RAM, no HDMI or microSD, etc.. than Z10

I paid full price for my Z10 so do I get a discount if they introduce the same phone at a discounted value. I live in India it looks like the company fucked people like me who paid full price in March. I am so disappointed with this new positioning of the bbry. By the way I paid the equivalent of 800 USD then. Now this new reality sucks ass.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

That's the price of adopting early. Most of us with Zs paid full price or extended mobile service contracts to get a discount... That's nothing new

Posted from my 6230

Early adopters always take it in the shorts. But, technology couldn't advance without them.

The company thought that it commanded a premium and really didn't. Plus there is a high fixed cost of a device that is related to licensing that falls later on

Z10 posted

In less than a year. Keep telling urself that. Iphones don't degrade in value that fast. I spent 800 USD on a z10 against the advice of everyone I know and now the eggs on my face. Thank you blackberry. Way to go.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

strange how apple can sell iphone 4s still if people wont buy because of specs not being the best ...... andriod phones have high specs because andriod requires it even then they still arent as smooth as ios devices or blackberry10 because thoses OS's had hardware made just for the os andriod is like windows can run on multiple configurations but that doesnt = smooth ui all the time

Yes but not for $55 mil. He can't do any worse at the wheel.

More articles from Chris please! Seem to be the only ones not filled with fluff.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 Oreo

He can't be let go yet. It's been mentioned before in various different ways... he's the 55 mil $$ scapegoat.

Posted via CB10

I'd like to know one thing: will he get the 55mln if he gets removed from the company or already when removed from his role as CEO/Boardmember?

If there'd be a chance to find that out... Chris, do you accept the challenge :)?

Posted via CB10

Shoot, if they lower the price enough I'm getting one for my Mom, and my son. I'm a firm believer in this product and BB10. I am continually showcasing mine at work, and get positive feedback. I even have an apple fan boy converting to the Z30 when it hits the market.

Posted via CB10

great to see there are still fanboys supporting dying company. good luck getting support back from bb :D how are those apps doing btw? are still a third of them made by one chinese company?

Haaaa. Z10 is a great phone. App shmap. I have 5-6 I use a few times a week like 90% of the population. The messaging aspects of BlackBerry are hands down best in class!

Posted via CB10

If you hate BlackBerry that much, why are you on CrackBerry? Why not join iMore and bask in Apple's success.

Epic Fail. This isn't a plan, it's wishful thinking. You can’t create a business plan around the poorly defined 'Prosumer ' market. It doesn't exist!

Posted via my BlackBerry Z10

correct, and how on earth can they or anyone be surprised at low sales when they were brought out in secret. I saw more of those idiot bold bicycle commercials than ones for Z10.

You're right. They need to fire Frank immediately and hire the best marketing person available. Their marketing ideas suck. Their communication department sucks. They have the cash but they don't spend it wisely. I just feel so sad for all the employees who have been working their asses off to deliver a great product to us.

I am not a market analysts by any means, so I am confused over the mentions of phones sold in fiscal quarters in 2014. Is it still 2013? Or am I living in the past?

My company is also in fiscal year '14....that is pretty common. my fiscal year starts on June first and BlackBerry' on may or March

Posted via CB10

March 1st is the beginning of their fiscal year (for their books they do not follow the calendar year).
So months 4-6 is the second quarter (Jun-Aug). Since this fiscal year ends in 2014 (end of Feb 2014), the quarter just filed is Q2 Fiscal 2014. T

Theres calender years and fiscal years. Blackberry is currentlty running on the same Fiscal calender as the canadian goverment, which starts in april.

Yes but more and more are coming, and it's just as easy to download an app through BlackBerry World as it is to sideload....

Posted from my Z10STL100-1/ on CB10

You've got to be kidding! Just as easy to sideload as to download from BlackBerry world?! When will you people accept that sideloading is not a viable solution? Why would kids give up huge app ecosystems for a BlackBerry? They won't - the market has spoken with sideloading already an option. It appears BlackBerry is following the advice on crackberry for its business plan.

Posted via CB10

Trust me Raj, Apple isn't worried about not having your money or your attention. Sorry. You're just not as important as you'd like to be.

Thank you for posting that. I don't get what some of these people are thinking when they say sideloading is a great option. It's a horrible option. Isn't kind of illegal anyway?

Stuck with this BlackBerry Z10 and a 2-year contract.

"just as easy to download from BlackBerry World than to sideload " = so wrong....you are assuming all BlackBerry users are cb members...

Posted via CB10

I am a cb member and side loading is not a solution. I haven't side loaded a single app and don't care much for the process either. U either have the apps or u don't. Side loading is a scam.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

exactly, you either have the app or you dont. stick with bb and you don't. not hard to see why people DON't buy bb devices

Well for us avid sideloaders, we DO have those apps that make up BB's app gap. And they work great! But I get what people are saying. Sideloading is far from an ideal solution and not the answer to the app gap that will impact 99.99999% of BB's potential market. Sideloading a bar file can be compared to downloading a torrent. A very small minority of the population knows how or can be bothered doing it.

The more users there are, the more attractive it is for developers to develop for BlackBerry. If they can get those Z10s out there, even if it's at a loss, it will be a gain for them in the end.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

I agree, I think if they do this I could afford to buy them in bulk and offer them with a Bes 10 package. Or just retail them next to Nokia...

Posted from my Z10STL100-1/ on CB10

Yes, they will start by filling the Enterprise BES users with free Z10 handsets.

If they have excess inventory, I suspect that they will advertise a 'special' via their website. Look for December.

I paid $550 for my z10 so that is a pretty expensive entry level device.

I think BlackBerry is the only company that screws you over for being an early buyer.

Anyways I'm interested in what they will do in the future. Also did anyone figure out what a prosumer is?

Posted via CB10

Définition of a prosumer: one that doesn't want or need a fart app on their smartphone. ;-)

Posted from my Z10 using CB10

I seriously don't understand why everyone wants Netflix on their phone. My wife has it on her iPhone and we watched it once for about 5 minutes in a hotel room and decided it was crazy watching on such a small screen. So we turned on the big screen tv in the room and watched HBO. Now I do understand from watching my kids habits, why instagram would be popular.

Posted via CB10

Prosumer is basically the term that blackberry uses to make fun of its own die hard consumers. As in:

Thor: We need to get some sales from the consumer market as well after all corporate sales is good but the scale lies in the former.

Frank: Ok. So what do u have in mind?

Thor: Lets invent some new designation to make consumers think we still care about them while getting out of the consumer market. Head to Head android and apple are creaming us and we won't make it for long without apps or any of the other things the others have.

Frank: Ok. So basically u want us to screw the consumer but segment that market so that we screw them in style. Prem could go for this. What do u have in mind?

Thor: Maybe something like casual consumer and professional consumer? We can screw the market while saying that the reason we don't have apps is because we are not for the general market and all. This will make It look plausible.

Frank: I think u r right. This makes a lot of sense. Maybe we should call them prosumers. Make them feel special and fuck them from behind. Anyways we have a lot of fans. CrackBerry has ensured that.

Thor: It's settled then. Lets get out the press release. My 55 mill is safe and so's ur parachute. Lets call Prem and give him a heads up.

And lo the Prosumer was born.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

I agree, how much was the 64G Playbook at launch? 700.00$, give or take. I paid 200.00$ few months ago. Now it's around 145.00$. It seems early, loyal buyers, defenders of BB, CB folks, are always getting screwed. I can see the Z10 at fire sale prices soon. I have Love/Hate relationship with this company for sure.

I guess you have a love/hate relationship with every company that manufactures items then. Look at the auto industry. Right now you can buy a 2014 car, in 6 months dealers that have stock will discount that same car as they prepare for the 2015 models. A year from now, some dealers will still have new 2014 models sitting on their lots and will be selling them at a deep discount over what they are right now. Heck, if you search around, you can find dealers that are selling new 2012 cars that are on their lots for 40% discounts below the sticker price! So early adopters buying cars get screwed too! Same goes for washing machines, TVs, snowblowers, beds... the list goes on and on!

If you want it the day it comes out so you can gave bragging rights you gotta pay. That's how it works for everything.

Posted via CB10

U paid 550 USD. I've paid 800 USD. Where does that leave people like me. I'm really pissed at blackberry. Had I bought an iphone the worth of my phone would not have degraded so much.

Posted via CB10 from BB Z10

Btw BlackBerry is right now less than 4billion worth... be honest... bbry is slowly dying

Posted via CB10

Interesting. If they have $2.7 billion in cash, plus $1.4 billion worth in buildings, that's $4.1 billion right there. Plus count all the patents (worth about $1.5 billion or more) and everything else (QNX, TAT, Paratek, etc). The valuation is just insane. Someone can just buy the company and shut it down/sell the parts completely and they stand to make a nice profit.

They just need to sell off those z10s dirty cheap to get them in the hands of a lot of ppl in those emerging markets and etc.

They messed up with pricing their devices to high exactly the same mistake with the PlayBook and again the LTE version. Because of the lack of top named apps selling them cheaper makes them a bit more appealing.

I am glad to see other individuals finally calling blackberry out for failing to learn its lessons - this has got to be one of the most significant factors to their current state. Blackberry, it seems, is incapable of learning anything.

I agree with the idea of using the write down to spice up BES 10 enterprise deals. This is their focus! Isn't it? They can continue to focus on BES with their marketing dollars, while still making consumer products.....and from here on out, project a more realistic inventory on new product.

BlackBerry for leaders, not followers.

Not particularly a fan of the BB10 naming convention now.
I guess these names were done while under the premise of having the 6 devices of Q5 Q10, Q30 + Z5, Z10, Z30?

Give z10s to every major tv personality. Why the hell are they not doing this? Everyone from cnbc hosts to arsenic hall should get one.

Posted via CB10

I think they will eliminate the Q5 (which is not geared to 'prosumers') and re-tier the Q10 along with the Z10 to the entry level line. They will then probably refresh the specs to arrive at the Q30.

Posted via CB10

I agree - Q5 should go with the Q10 to become the entry level physical keyboard device.

Or perhaps have the Q10 as the only physical keyboard device and concentrate on the touch screen devices.

Posted using CB10 on my Z10STL100- running

How could they even release the Q5? It's such a horrendous looking device, it really makes you wonder about what's going on at BlackBerry and I blame Thorsten. He's in charge, how could he OK such a device?

I have received much criticism for sticking with Blackberry and I still fight for it despite the trouble it's going through. But with no major Apps it's slowly dying, Kids and adults alike want the hottest new apps not knockoffs....please fix this.

Posted from my awesome Z-10
Brooklyn,New York.

Posted via CB10

Indeed no leadership. At all z10 should have been discounted from the word go trade up for users of older BlackBerry devices. They needed to shift number s

Posted via CB10

Hi Chris,

Always a true pleasure to read your posts.
Not only do you have a great knowledge from the financial markets, but you also posses an ability to explain stuff in a simple and straight forward way. Keep up the good work!

One sentence that also made me wonder was "Company sees increasing penetration of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES 10) with more than 25,000 commercial and test servers installed to date, up from 19,000 in July 2013"

Notice "commercial and test". Why are they hiding the actual number? If test installations is 90%, then they will only have revenue from a max of 2500 production servers and the number is probably waaaay less, as they have the free upgrade promotion running and until they release BES 11, these BES 10.x CALs are free.

PS: I vote for Chris to be headhunted to BlackBerry for "President of Public Relations"

"Notice "commercial and test". Why are they hiding the actual number? "

I'm sure you already know the answer to that. ;)

If there were truly thousands of paid BES10 installations out there, they'd say so.

BB are past masters at obscuring bad news by issuing misleading, but completely true, statements.

Hell, I only paid $12 for my Z10. Gonna wait until my wife's upgrade in April, get a Z30 and give her the Z10. I can't get it away from her at home as it is anyway.

Posted from my Z10 using CB10

Isn't that the truth! They're like the Lindsay Lohan of the smartphone world. I'm crying here as I see my stock value disintegrate.

Great device, great OS, this really is a shame. Somehow convince big app developers to get their apps ready, make a phone with top hardware, blow the rest of the cash inventory on mass advertising and not just little campaigns here and there, release the phone a month later. Some blackberry owners don't even know what a z30 is.
For a BlackBerry commercial, I strongly suggest something that would really show you what the OS can do and what it has to offer and not just pics showing you how it "flows". For non-blackberry users that just made no sense since OS10 has a slightly steeper learning curve. It truly is the future, just...well, it's being run by clueless creatures.

Posted via CB10

Thorsten should be fired. The marketing and launch of BB10 phones has been a massive failure.

Good product buy no one knows about it. Why is that? I know people that didn't even know BlackBerry released a new OS and all touch phone. Wow.

Posted via CB10

They screwed up and the people who screwed up will now be compensated nicely while the people who did all the work get pink slips. They will not be getting many US government sales of hardware, just BES 10, which will be supporting Android and iOS devices with secure containers.

Posted via CB10

It looks to me like they are actively working to drive the company value to nothing in a very short period of time so Prem gets it all for nothing. Are they going to end like Nortel with a massive launch of class action lawsuits? Remember, Thor has to follow the direction of the board. Do you feel the board of directors has conducted themselves in a manner that has their shareholders in first priority? Well okay, at least one shareholder ... Prem. How did the B of D agree to such a one sided deal?
If they are going to go with 4 devices only it would have to be Z30,Q30,Q10,Z10.
Can we please remove the board of directors while there is still a weak pulse?

I think there will most likely be a few suits if BB goes for $9 /share or less.
They say as much in the filing, that you know they are expecting it to happen.

Posted via CB10

What gives?? Perhaps they should consider doing a free trade up from bbos to bb10 less shipping chareds to get the phone into as many hands as possible.

edit: Paulpaul49 beat me to it

What the heck just happened? Stock price moved around 6% in two trades? Am I reading the screen right? Did we just see a 4-6 million share block trade? Only very few people have that sort of volume to move. What does this mean??

A good job with chrysler? The vehicles chrysler produced during that time were shit, the quality was crap, and then they took chrysler ac finance which is all they wanted and sold to the lowest bidder, they will just chop up the company and sell it off in parts

Thorsten Heins needs to be fired ASAP. He is not fit to lead the company as evidenced by the botched rollout of BB10, the abysmal timing of the strategic review process... and the mispricing of their products... also, under his leadership they could not even rollout BBM to IOS and Android. If he can't manage to rollout a simple app, how fit could he possibly be to run an entire company..... pathetic and disappointing.... Fire him already and bring in an outsider to help BlackBerry restructure.

A major part of a CEO's job is to manage expectations and he should not have committed to a summer release if they weren't ready. The Board is also impotent in my opinion because they have allowed all of this to happen.

Also, Frank Boulben needs to go as well. The marketing from BlackBerry sucks... and he has shown that he is not capable to manage the perception problem that BlackBerry has.

Posted via CB10

TH must go. He had his chance to turn this around and blew it. He knew what he was getting into ( a mess )
hence the compensation if he's let go.

What BB needs now is a new leader, to right size itself and try to survive.

If my Z10 is going to be considered entry level, then wow. Any upgraded phones are going to have to be very very special!

Posted via CB10

The BlackBerry leadership acts like a staff outing of naive Bookkeeper in a flophouse..... Surprise- the world isnt fair or regardful.... And to continue this analogy: in a bordel named market a viagra makes more sense than a prissy neck tie... BlackBerry stumbles from one sandtrap to the next... They should re-tier Heins to the entry-level of the mailroom....

Interesting spike on heavy volume mid day with no news- of course, can't be any insider info trading cause that's illegal..............................

The spike is due to the WSJ article on Cerberus expressing interest in BlackBerry. Competing offers, or the potential of competing offers will cause investor confidence to go up.

Posted via CB10

thx - missed the latest speculation somehow. seems a repeating pps spike pattern by BB on such rumors.

I sure hope the are able to market themselves better in the near future, with six figure apps now in blackberry world, one hopes that this will drive off notions that there is a lack of developers interested in the platform. It seems like without some newly sprung interest in the youth market their hopes of anything else save enterprise / government related business will be out the window.

Sorry BBRY, it's not Android or IOS which are to blame for your failure it's your own arrogance. When the z10 was about to launch I read countless articles by Analysts who said BBRY had to price that handset to really move so they could get the sales which would then drive an increase in apps available for their ecosystem. This was BBRY's ONLY hope. To create a circular feeding frenzy.. Sell a ton of phones, create demand for apps, then watch developers hop on board. They then priced the Z10 at the identical price as other top tier premium phones. In fact, it would have cost me more to buy a z10 outright then an Iphone 5 or an S3. BBRY thought their phone was "better" and therefore priced it higher than virtually everything else. Ha. I guess the market place didn't agree with you TH. In fact its laughable that apple sold almost 7 times as many 5s IN ONE WEEKEND then BBRY sold BB10 phones in the entire quarter.

Now of course, they have written down the inventory and what to they do? They start selling the z10 directly to consumers. But still convinced that the phone is better than anything else they have again priced it at top tier level phones. How come I can buy a "lower tiered" Windows 8 phone for less than 200. Yet I would still have to pay over 500 for a lower tiered Z10 even though it has less apps, the company faces an uncertain future, and the company has already taken almost a complete loss on its excess inventory. Oh I know why because as TH sits in his office twiddling his thumbs waiting for his 55 million dollar payout for destroying the company, he keeps saying "this is a premium phone, people should pay top dollar for this.".

I completely agree with your comment. It was just plain stupid to price the Z10 (ESPECIALLY the Q10, $199 on contract when I can buy an S4 for that much? That's just madness) at the same price as other flagship phones with a ton of features and specs (not to mention apps).

I've had both the Z10 and Q10 for about 3-4 months combined, and I can easily say that they are extremely overpriced and any flagship android phone that came out in the last year or two easily beats both of those phones (such as the HTC One, HTC One X+, S3, S4, LG OG, LG G2, Nexus 4 etc - I've owned those as well besides G2).

Hope the people that buy it at a cheap price realize that they're getting a hell of a deal for premium hardware and a kick ass OS.

Posted via CB10

All I know is there are a few people who opted out of upgrading to Q10's from their Bold 9900's as a result of them seriously thinking that BlackBerry is finished - and that's sad. BlackBerry is NOT GOING AWAY and WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD DEVICES for BlackBerry 10.

The reality is - all companies will have to scale back their businesses from something bloated and not sustainable into nimble machines toiling away for the good of their followers. No longer will it be about shipping a massive amount of inventory based on speculations of demand - and - it will go more towards a company making specific solutions for target markets - like "small batch breweries" who make "craft beers" in smaller quantities, and build to suit. Seriously.

Posted via CB10

How did you come up with that?

It states very clearly that they will be focusing on 2 entry-level phones and 2 Hugh end phones going forward. This was also confirmed in the Fairfax offer that they will be supporting that goal. Learn to read and not react. Its stupid comments like this that get people thinking that BlackBerry is dying.

Posted via CB10

Agree with most posts here. The announcement of the strategic alternative was taken out of context by Wall Street shorts. They turned into a fire sale and potential bankruptcy. Everyone out in world believes they are broke and no longer will be around tomorrow. Wall Street turned it into fact. BlackBerry and board members need to stand up and clarify things and make it straight. We all know they are looking for a partner to deliver the hardware. Of course it was going to affect product sales and BES10 since mid August. Even waiting until November 4th to take it private is to long of a freaken wait.

Posted via CB10

this is bang on. I don't understand why their public relations people aren't on the tech shows in a constant state clarifying their position. Until people understand their brand is here to stay BB will continue to lose out on sales.

Chris, I'm trying to work with you here but you need to massage your numbers again regarding Q4/2012, Q1/2013, and Q2. They reported 1 million BB 10's sold in Q4, in the first month of the Z10 launch, Heins said that of those, approx. 70% were sold to end users. That leaves 300,000 units carried into Q1. They then stated that 6.8 million handsets were sold in Q1 when we now know that only 6.4 were related to "end user" sales. Finally, in Q2, they used the carrier inventories as a reason to sap up the loose handsets and attribute Q2 sales to cleaning up past carrier inventory. With 4.08 million BB 07's sold to end users in Q1, you can attribute the difference plus Q4 hold-overs of BB 10's, to Q2 sales of BB 10's. That works out to about 2.7 million belated BB 10's sold in Q1 if you refuse to restate Q1 earnings results. Why they just won't restate Q1 is beyond me! Then everyone would be on the same page here. So Q2 was actually a very good quarter when you consider they cleared out carrier inventory from Q4/2012/Q1 and sold 2.2 million BB 10's in Q2 while using those sales to do the cleanup of Q1!!

In summary, they cleared up BB 10's carried into Q1, they cleaned up BB 10's carried into Q2 and of course they sold BB 10's in Q2 but carried Deferred Revenue forward to the tune of well over a million plus BB 10's. The good news is that more BB 07's were purchased in Q2 versus Q1 and, they sold more BB 10's to end users in Q2 versus Q1. This does not suck. Now, I would ask you to look at Q2 marketing costs and think to yourself how much of those costs will be repeated in Q3? They have enough strategic benefits to roll down 4.500 employees and cut costs while offering more BB 10's to the market to shore up BES10.1 here. Things aren't that bad at all. Thanks

Maybe you can boil down your numbers for me here ... I'm not sure I follow everything you wrote. Anyway, bottom line is the MD&A is very clear on sell-through this quarter. 1.7 million BB10 units. That's a horrible number. No way to make this sound like a good quarter.


I spent 6 years at Morgan as an Analyst. Every time I read his post and his "outcomes" I cringe.

Hope they survive. Just compared my Z10 to my friends Galaxy S4 and they kept saying uh....i didnt know BlackBerry could do that. keeping the BB life alive in the 808 state!

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry should be like oprah Winfrey. YOU GET A Z10!! YOU GET A Z10! YOU ALL GET Z10s!!

Posted via my white Z10. LG banter- blackberry bold 9900- Z10

No sell the phone with the accessories eg extra battery charger, car charger, ear phones for $400 deal deal

Posted via CB10

That's what they are going for right now. If they dump a bunch of new phones on the market no way will they get $400 for them.

Saying that the Z10 IS AN ENTRY LEVEL DEVICE is pure BS.

Same specs as the Q10 and have a better screen size by far.

I don't get this BS

Z10 is an amazing device.

Posted via CB10

"Never give the media an opportunity to take a story, twist out out of context and amplify it’s volume to the general public" - this is exactly why they need to go private, then they can control the message better and let out the good news and hold back what will inevitably be spun as doom. Quite frankly, the doom stories are getting a little tiresome and are killing the brand.

I agree with you, but the main question now is at what price and whether they are screwing the little shareholders who must take all the loss while the insiders get all the upside!

Electronics always decline in value. So I assume when people buy them they are comfortable with the price at that time with the knowledge that they can get it cheaper 6 months down the lane. In case of bbry the decline is steep due to ongoing mess.

Posted via CB10

Chris, thank you, I always appreciate your analysis.

The worrying point for me is the ratio of BBOS7 to BB10 phone sales. Doesn't it suggest that there is essentially no trade up to the newer system (servers)? This is to be the focus of the "enterprise" side, no?

Posted via CB10

Yeah, it's scary that almost all sell through is the older platform.  They need to do what others have suggested here, which is to make the Z10 and Q10 the cheap entry level phones (even though they are far better than entry level specs).  Give'm away at cost.  Just make sure the base stays / grows.  Otherwise they are toast.

The problem isn't the phones, it's BES 10 and the migration path from BES5. It's like someone woke up one morning and thought, "How hard can we make it to migrate?".

The Globe article while clearly skewed did give some great insights into what happened with BB10.

The BB7 teams and BB10 teams didn't communicate fully, leading to BB10 missing lots of small but significant features (like notifications customized by contact etc). And it seems obvious BES10 suffered from a similar disease.

BlackBerry research staff on both sides appear to have a collective case of advanced egomania and needed to be humble enough to realize there is good in both OS even if one is being replaced.

I suppose it's possible they over reacted to market sentiment and decided to sweep clean. Either way it wasn't a great strategy.

What BlackBerry failed to realize is that since enterprises have to deal with the carriers, a lot of agencies might have to deal with contract negotiations with those carriers, hence expecting agencies to pick up BB10 in less than a year is unfeasible.

Posted via CB10

More concerning toe was the cash burn over the quarter. Did they set aside a cash charge for the employee downsizing. My math is as follows; 4500 employees gone. Packaged our at approx. $100,000.00 per employee =. 450 million. Was this perhaps a cash charge for the quarter or did the cash burn come from somewhere else?

Posted via CB10

The cash burn from the quarter is from operations, not from the layoffs. The 4500 job cuts will come over the next few quarters and they've upped their cash budget for this by $300 million. So you weren't too far off with your estimate.

What are these employees that average out at $100K termination packages? Seems very generous for a failing company to be doing. (Yes, I know this includes more than just severance checks. But even including something like six months of health insurance this seems like quite a lot.)

Sad truth is that BB didn't learnt their lesson from the previous 3 years. Many useful suggestions had been posted here on CB an CB forums from diehard BB fans but not heeded or ignored by the marketing team at BB. I guess now they pay by losing their jobs. Initial price, promotions to achieve critical mass of users of the Z10 , and then Q10 on the initial untested BB10 platform were obviously a mistake and the money spent produce no returns

Thanks Chris, great article.

I just can't believe they sold such low numbers of bb10 devices. Ouch.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

I paid 150$ on a three year contrat for my z10 and it is all worth the great user experience. Now they are free on a two hour contrat, i hope it attracts more buyers. I hope my overpaying will help out the company because in my opinion they deserve a break.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is now saying that they are seeing market share erode in the emerging markets.

Is it possible that BBMforall is driving some of these customers to choose Android or iOS over BB because now they can choose another phone but still get BBM?

Posted via CB10

No, because BBM4ALL was a disaster that did not happen. People barely even want BBM on their other devices anyway. No one is leaving BB with the hope and using BBM on another device.

Two things;
1.I have been saying for about Forever that someone else should be building the touchscreen phones. Any one of them can build the Z 10 or 30, they have had much more success with touchscreens than BBRY (by they I mean SamHTCLGKyosung and some I've probably forgotten.
2. Although Sprint is small, they only made the Q10 available on August 30, I don't know who screwed that up BBRY or Sprint, but clearly fences need mending.
That's my devalued 2 cents.

there was alllooot of Sprint-bashing going on when they decided not to carry the Z10,,, guess they're (sprint) laughing now,,, they must've seen the writing on the wall before everyone else...

Well, if Sprint is laughing it's at their customers, between Sprint and BlackBerry someone blew this deal. I'm still with them because of a company discount, in Green Bay WI we won't see 4G service till after I die of old age.

I loved my Bold 9930 and now proudly own a Z10 and I must say it is far from an entry level phone. Of course soon as I can get my hands on a Z30 I will be giving the Z10 a break but it is a great phone. And I'm sure many of us that don't have access or want the Z30 right now also see the Z10 as a quality product.

Posted via CB10

i got an iphone 5s and i love it. its time you guys!! And i have the LE z10. apps are everything!! it pretty much makes your phone the super phone!!

I'm getting tired of Blackberry looking back on their mistakes and admitting them. I want them to stop making the mistakes for a change.

Sounds like someone in BBRY is still insisting the launch of yet another device, Z30, in order to justify his insistence? Z10 flopped so badly, and I am not sure if it would be a wise idea to produce another so-and-so product again. Or, are they trying to justify selling Z10s at discounted price as a 2nd tier device, bay positioning the Z30 a top tier. Rather than accumulating yet another potentially shameful dead stock (of Z30), isn't it their responsibility to clear the huge Z10 dead stock ASAP? This colossal failure of racking up as much as $1B of dead stock cannot justify so many thousands of poor employees who were recently let go. People already know that Z10 s are sitting in warehouses, and are predicting a fire sale anyway. Recoup the money ASAP. It's their responsibility, rather than talking about yet another launch of a new device.

They need to blow out the Z10's ASAP get the overhang off this gone. People are going to continue talking about excess inventory as long as they hold it. And no one is going to buy with a known firesale coming. Get rid of the excess, put them in the hands of people that want them, increase the number of users, and the market will stop talking about how many Z10's are on the shelf, but rather how quickly their selling and how much the users like them.

Until then BB will just continue to perpetuate the negativity.

One of the biggest issues that Blackberry is facing in India, is the lack on knowledge at the stores. I am not only talking about the local stores but even the Blackberry owned stores (which is sad). They do not even know half of the features which the BB 10 has and they do not have the confidence to sell them, I have personal seen this.

The sales figures will only change if the end users feels confident of the product and the sales person can convince him that this is the best.

I have been using the my Z10 for the past 7 months, I have never seen a better interface or OS.

This seems to be the Norm of a lot of sales people, they know how to sell and maybe will learn about the product. I bought a new designed vehicle a couple years ago and at the time I knew more about it than the salesman. Was even worst I had an issue and had to take in for service via the clueless service people.

Posted via CB10

Blow out the Z10 at $49, unlocked, no contracts and you'll see it get into peoples hands. Nice device, poor execution, continued bumbling with releases of updates etc. $49 - or they are not going anywhere.

The decline in BB10 sales comes as no surprise with all of the doom and gloom reporting. Let's where we're at when things cool down 6 months from now.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z10

They need to do some kind of focus groups. Talk to potential consumers in the US and see what a reasonable price would be to sell them at.
I think $225 delivered would allow them to break even on them and get 5,000,000 more phones in the hands of the American consumer.
I could even see it snowballing at that price and people being disappointed that they could not get one.

finally ! i do know who Thorsten reminds me of :
Mr Bean !!!

photo on the article did the trick ! thank you . this finally explains some. not alot... but some...

I love my z10. Much better than iPhone. I'm saddened about the state of things. Sold a bunch of shares today.

My conclusion is that the marketing sucked. A superior product, not marketed to developers (who may have had incentives to ignore BB10) and to customers effectively. Just sucks.

Posted via CB10

Oh no they rolled out Heins Ketchup... to soften the latest nutshot Z10 owners must now feel, just like PlayBook owners a few months ago. Thanks douchebags!

So the phone I paid full price for is now considered an entry level device...thanks a lot for this clusterfuck!

How in the hell is the Q10 a high-end device? The Q10 with all due respect is nothing more than a supped up version of the Bold 9900! If it wasn't running the BB10 OS no one would give two shits on it!

So what does that make the Q5?! The Second Coming device?

The worry of this news is that if this is considered an entry level device, it can pretty soon be discarded and no longer receive the tech support it needs.

If you think that that is not possible, think again...this is BlackBerry we are talking about! Customer abandonment, broken promises and failures have become BlackBerry 's trademarks!

I wanted to have this device for 2-3 years but I'm getting the feeling that that won't happen!

So if I upgrade to the Z30, which won't happen...will that phone also be declared an entry level device while the Q5 will be classified as a super phone?

Posted via CB10

Considering I just 3 month's ago paid 700 buck's for this phone. I'm feeling ripped off. Love BBRY but come on!!!!

Posted via CB10

Hearing this news, while for others makes them a bit frightened and no one can blame them, for me, it makes me excited at how BB could run with this situation and make it better. After the BB storm debacle, I swore of BB altogether and saw them as a brand that doesnt understand what the typical consumer wants. Then, when they were announcing BB 10, I chuckled to myself and said - it looks horrendous.....boy was I wrong.

Fast forward to now and I have had almost every Android device under the sun and with each Android device it came with an issue - LAG...serious lag. How in the hell if my phone is dual core, quad core etc why the lag. Bring in the BB Z10 - HOLY SHIT! That is all I can say. This OS, even though brand new, is, in my opinion, miles ahead Android in fluidity, no lag, and I just cannot get over how much I am loving this BB Hub. I am surprised no one thought of that sooner. Sure, on Android I can get 15 different apps that do that, but I dont want to have to get 15 different apps but with BB - BOOM - Built right in.

After not having any type of cellphone for over a year, coming back to BB was a very smart move. I can not get over the fact on how fast this phone is. My Galaxy S3, which I bought from MetroPCS before I knew Verizon had ok'd my contract, well, its a nice phone - nice screen size, etc but lag lag lag! Then I go on my BB Z10 and I can get everything I need done quicker on it than I can on my Galaxy S3. Having the Z10, I know for a fact that I will be getting the Z30 and since I am loving my experience so far on the Z10, I know I will love my experience even more on the Z30

Naysayers will say anything to make themselves look good. Yes, BB hasnt been the smartest with marketing or with pricing, but the build quality on this device is still quite good. BB App World.....well, for me, I dont need to have an Instagram app because the camera does it all for me - filters built right into the camera app, dont need FB - built right into the OS, dont need Twitter - built right into the OS, etc. I do not play games on my phone, but I have been seeing some killer games in the App World, music - plays music just fine, love the browsing experience and LOVE LOVE LOVE the ppi on this display - it beats the Iphone 5S and 5C by having a higher ppi. Also, to those who say the camera sucks - I have been able to take amazing pictures with this little guy. By the way, I dont know 1 professional photographer that is going to use their smartphone to take pics with anyways. People do not need high megapixels in a camera on a phone, but sadly, that is what sells a phone - specs.

So to BB I say this in closing. Thanks for making an excellent product and thanks for bringing me back as a customer. I am not going to run away during this time, but will tell and show others the advantages of this OS over their own.

Why all the negative comments about BlackBerry? Like - I paid $800 and now it's $200 - well news flash!! Most stuff has a premium attached to it when the product first comes out of the gate.
Secondly, who cares if the phone is cheap now, or there isn't much advertising going on. The way I look at it, is that I'm not walking around with the same phone as everyone else, and the z10 is kick ass. People pay for being different.
At the end of the day BlackBerry has said that they will continue to make phones for consumers, but put their focus (marketing dollars) towards BES10. The company isn't going anywhere. They can still turn a profit. The company was way over staffed at the peak of their sales. They bought every day building in Waterloo! Now they just need to go private in order to stay out of the spotlight and down size their operations.

BlackBerry for leaders, not followers.

BlackBerry should get rid of the inventory in deals where BIS/BES enterprises services are sold to companies. Once you place the devices in the hands of the public for free or a rental fee, the device and name will create an impact effective enough to reinstate BlackBerry's presence in the market.

Blackberry's focus should have been removing legacy devices from the market. People are judging the company based on BlackBerry 7 devices. And because of the frustrations with them. They are not even willing to buy the higher end models assuming that it will be the same. Ads should have been tailored to reassure customers that the old days were gone. Or they should have allowed a trade in program and clean the market of these blackberry 7 devices. All they do is frustrate people.

Posted via CB10

True about the old phones. General public still has this bad perception of BlackBerry like the new phones are going to be needing a battery pull.

BlackBerry for leaders, not followers.

really??? that must be why "7" devices are outselling "10" devices 4-1 & owners of the "Z" & "Q" are clamoring for BBOS features & notifications...

Make the adjustments and hire new people to market blackberry and fight like he'll to become number one again shit

Renzo G

You Rimtards are so stupid and clueless... When i said the same thing a while ago, you peopple at CB banned me. Haha. And some of you Canucks are totally corrupt and support corrupt people and corruupt deals. Its okay to have Heins make $100 million while he escrewed up Blackberry; $160 million break up to Fairfax. And you elect these BOD with 80-90% votes.

I still think the z10 is a great phone. The question is whether to discount it or sell it to enterprise at a price which will quick clear inventory. Clearly one of the two would help spread the word about this great phone. If the Z30 were not almost on the scene i would discount to consumers. But now this could easily erode z30 sales. How much is the z30 an office phone? For my work it seems that a Curve is just fine so likely a Z10 is too much and not necessary to the purpose of corporate needs.

Posted via CB10

Great read Chris! Hope BlackBerry will lower Z10 price to dirty cheap and expand the user base.

Thinking about Z30...

I look forward to your healthy analysis Chris. Everything on the forums makes me sick with the doom and gloom...

BlackBerry needs to blow these phones at low prices like PlayBooks. This cleared the inventory quickly. At this point it is obvious that z10 will not sell at current price. Does not matter if sold directly or through vendors. I am not sure what they are waiting for. Just lower the price and get it done. $199 for $Z10. $299 for Q10. $199 for Q5. $299 for Q30. Just blow this inventory. Treat this as loss leaders and get these phone to people hands. 10.2 is really great. People will love it. Android apps run so much better with 10.2

Posted via CB10

TextMint and other adopters, who cares if it sold for less than when you bought it. It's a piece of tech, not an investment. You paid additional money to have the newest BlackBerry experience immediately. Your phone still performs the same as it did before a price cut. Every phone after 2 years is dirt cheap and "outdated", but if you took care of it and replace the battery it still works like new.

I paid full price for the Q10 at release (560 in the US) and know damn well within 8 months it will be under 450 or 400. I could have waited, but I wanted to try it and I am glad I did. My 9900 still works perfectly and I didn't "need" a new device but I am still satisfied I bought the Q10.

Electronics depreciate and the fact that they might get these out in the wild for a discount price is a great thing for all adopters because if the number of users increases than app support will follow suit and the experience will be better for everyone.

Sell em for 300 off contract and the Q5 for 200-250. Get the platform out there.

Posted via CB10

I agree. The Z10 here in Holland and UK is cheaper then the Q5.

The Z10 i bought 2 days before launch with discount and vouchers was 600 but I paid 360 euro and that is still a good price. I also get a free 64 Gb memory card from Blackberry NL so no complain here.

But the price of the Z10 bring it to 300 euro and the Q5 to 200 euro just take the money and sell it instead sitting in stock. I know lot of people expecting in Holland the Q5 would be first 225/250 euro but it was 350 euro and stil is it is. I sold not one Q5 and people expected curve prices not bold 9900 prices.

Blackberry started they wanted to build a base but you need low and mid price mobile's.The starting fishing with expensive/special bait but the best place is go where the most fish are. Also Nokia didn,t understand that but lauching 200-250 euro phone's they fishing in another segment/water and wow they cathing a lot of fish.

I allready give lots of comment about price and tell people blackberry 10 is made for touchscreen (qwerty people will by it anyway) and tell them is different then OS7. BB10 is a good OS and much quicker in use then android. just get 2 high end mobile's but also get 2x 200 -300 euro touchscreen mobile's (curve priced) just to build a base but now with all the negative news it's getting hard but that is the consumer market.

The business market is stil finding ways and blackberry must using NSA stuff to sell there most protected stuff in the world. just advertising with.

You wanted protection from your goverment to clock you in.
That's fine but our customers wanted our protection made
by Blackberry ,QNX and Trend Micro with Blackberry 10 OS.
The US goverment and agency and als the NATO only using
blackberry 10 to get us all protect.
Blackberry 10 the most protected world outside and inside.

Cheesy but advertising this people know and US people love protection and with all the things going on with US companies linked with goverments etc that is a advantage.

Why not build android into the phone also and run a parrel type deal for android on it just for the apps and play store. Then as they sell tens of millions they can and more developers and apps

Posted via CB10

It has been tough not to negative toward BB. For this first time in 10 year I went to and different phone/ OS and I can not be happier. Do I miss Blackberry yes.