News

From the Editor's Desk: Celebration and reflection

Hard to believe it's July already.

As usual, this month kicked off with Canada Day celebrations, which this year was extra special as it was the 150th anniversary of Canada. Across all of Canada, there were special events being held to honor the occasion. From a BlackBerry perspective, BlackBerry CEO John Chen took the time to write up a great post on the Inside BlackBerry blog highlighting the fact that even with BlackBerry's Global expansion, the company remains headquartered in Waterloo and their investment in Canada and Canadian innovation will continue.

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Thrifter is giving away two pairs of hand-crafted Grado Labs headphones, and one could be yours

Team Thrifter is back again, this time with a chance for you to win one of two pairs of hand-crafted headphones!

Headphones come in all shapes, sizes, and prices these days, and it's much easier to spend $10 on a set than it is to drop a few hundred. Unfortunately, you won't get the same build or audio quality out of the cheaper ones, but sometimes that's all you want to spend at the time. Ever dream of owning a beautiful pair of handmade headphones? If so, we've got a giveaway you won't want to miss.

To celebrate the recent launch of Thrifter's new site and branding, they partnered up with Grado Labs to be able to give away two pairs of its awesome headphones. We have a pair of the SR325e (which retail for $325), as well as a pair of the RS2e (which retail for $495). Grado Labs is based out of Brooklyn, NY, and the company actually hand makes all the headphones and cartridges it sells.

We will give you a minute to drool over how nice these headphones are ...

Ok, so how do you enter? The process is actually pretty simple, and there are a variety of ways to try and score a set of these headphones for yourself. Some of the easiest ways include following Thrifter on Twitter, signing up for our newsletter, and tweeting us! The contest runs through July 13, so be sure to get all your entries in before then!

Enter now to win a pair of Grado headphones from Thrifter!

For more great deals be sure to check out Thrifter now!

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Become a certified SEO pro with this training bundle, now just $29

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has, in recent years, become an integral part of pretty much any business model. What is it? It's how high the pages of your website rank on search engines, which, as you know, is used worldwide.

Become an SEO expert with this $29 bundle! Learn more

Without proper SEO, your pages will be buried somewhere in a search engine's results, meaning you'll get fewer clicks and less business. The training required to become an SEO pro is usually expensive, and working it into your already hectic schedule can be a pain.

Right now, CrackBerry Digital Offers has a deal on a complete Search Engine Optimization certification training bundle. Instead of paying the usual price of $399, you'll instead pay just $29. That's 92% off the regular price!

Included in this bundle are 19 hours of content available to you for a full year so that you can work it into your schedule. This bundle will teach you how to drive the most traffic to your website, and also how to manage web analytics to keep everything running smoothly.

Become a certified SEO expert with this bundle, now 92% off Learn more

If your business needs a boost, or if you're just interested in becoming an SEO expert, this bundle has what you need, including certification. At just $29, the time is now.

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Amazon's Prime Day 2017 brings 30 hours of deals starting July 10

Amazon has just announced 30 hours of deals starting on July 10, and the Thrifter team will be covering it all!

Prime Day 2017 will be spread across three days, starting Monday, July 10, at 9 p.m. EST and going until 3 a.m. Wednesday, July 12. The Thrifter team is already gathering all the information you need to know about Prime Day, and they will be on hand to cover this event from beginning to end, with every standout deal posted to the site and on Twitter.

While you can obviously expect the bulk of the deals to happen on Tuesday, July 11, don't be surprised if they kick off with a few great ones on Monday night. In fact, Amazon will be offering some exclusive deals to people using their Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Those deals will start at 7 p.m. on July 10, two hours before everything else kicks off. Going even farther back, Amazon plans to drop some other big sales in the week leading up to Prime Day.

Amazon claims this year's Prime Day event will feature more than 100,000 deals. Well, that's just plain ridiculous because there's no way you're going to be able to keep up with every single deal that drops, especially when most of them disappear almost as quickly as they arrive. For that reason, we've got a dedicated team of deal-scourers at Thrifter ready to give their sweat and tears to sort through everything and show you the deals worth paying attention to. Follow the Thrifter team on Twitter for deals as fast as they can tweet.

Be sure to sign up for Amazon Prime (even free trials can participate in Prime Day), and get here on July 10 when the whole thing goes live and the fun really starts! And remember we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions here that you can peruse if you need more information.

Check out Thrifter's other great deals leading up to Prime Day

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MediaMarkt kicks off Testblogger campaign in Germany where you can test and keep a BlackBerry KEYone!

Live in Germany and want to test and keep a new BlackBerry KEYone? MediaMarkt has just opened up a TestBlogger campaign in the region that will facilitate just that. All you need to do is signup in their community and create some threads about what motivates you to want to try and keep a BlackBerry KEYone.

You have until June 30th to apply and on July 3rd four users will be selected from the Smart Wohnen Community based on their forum feedback. Now, you can already purchase the device in Germany from these fine retailers:

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BlackBerry KEYone now available to pre-order in France from SFR

As BlackBerry Mobile continues to roll out the BlackBerry KEYone across various regions, they've now officially added the first French carrier to the list. SFR in France has now put their BlackBerry KEYone pre-orders live with shipments expected to start being delivered as of the first week of July.

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Canadian unlocked versions of the BlackBerry KEYone pushed back until later this summer

Not exactly a bad problem to have if you're BlackBerry Mobile.

When the BlackBerry KEYone was announced as coming in an unlocked version in Canada, BlackBerry Mobile intended to have the device available starting in June but as it stands now, folks in Canada looking to purchase the unlocked version will have to wait until later this summer.

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Pre-orders of the BlackBerry KEYone sell out in Japan, official launch happens on June 29!

Through their partners Fox. Inc and Caseplay, BlackBerry Mobile kicked off pre-orders for the BlackBerry KEYone in Japan on June 22. Demand for the KEYone in saw the latest Android-powered BlackBerry sell out in about an hour but if you missed out on placing your order, you can still do so.

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BlackBerry Notable update allows you to edit an existing image you previously saved

Since its release back in February, BlackBerry Notable hasn't had any uhh notable changes made to the app but a new update rolling out through Google Play right now addresses one of the larger issues with the content creation and sharing app, being the inability to edit an existing image you previously saved.

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Evernote will discontinue support for Evernote for BlackBerry 10 as of June 29

A little bit of sad news for those of you out there who are using Evernote on BlackBerry 10. As per emails being sent out from Evernote today, and support documents posted to their site, Evernote will discontinue support for Evernote for BlackBerry 10 as of June 29.

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The Amazon Echo is on sale for just $130 today

The Amazon Echo is at its lowest price all year.

The Amazon Echo is on sale for $129.99, a discount of $50 from its retail price of $179.99. That's the lowest price we've seen on the full-sized Echo all year, and brings it to parity — at least from a price standpoint — with the Google Home.

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Listen to the replay of BlackBerry's Q1 Fiscal 2018 earnings call

If you weren't able to tune into BlackBerry's Q1 Fiscal 2018 earnings call, you can now listen to the full replay. As noted in BlackBerry's press release, there was plenty of highlights for the quarter and several relevant announcements made after the quarter closed.

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BlackBerry announces common share purchase program

In addition to announcing their Q1 Fiscal 2018 results, BlackBerry has now also announced that it has received acceptance from the Toronto Stock Exchange to purchase for cancellation up to 31,000,000 BlackBerry common shares, representing approximately 6.4% of the outstanding public float as at May 31, 2017.

"The purpose of this repurchase program is to offset a portion of the expected dilution from our equity incentive plan and from conversion of our 3.75% Debentures," said BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO, John Chen. "We intend to take advantage of our strong cash position to purchase our shares when the market price does not reflect what we view to be the underlying value and future prospects of our business, without adversely affecting our strategic initiatives," added Mr. Chen.

The actual number of shares to be purchased and the timing and pricing of any purchases under the share repurchase program will depend on future market conditions and upon potential alternative uses for cash resources.

BlackBerry Announces Common Share Purchase Program

Jun 23, 2017 WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(June 23, 2017) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) today announced that it has received acceptance from the Toronto Stock Exchange (the "TSX") with respect to a normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") to purchase for cancellation up to 31,000,000 BlackBerry common shares, representing approximately 6.4% of the outstanding public float as at May 31, 2017. BlackBerry can purchase the common shares pursuant to the NCIB through the facilities of the TSX, over the Nasdaq Stock Market or through alternative trading systems. Any BlackBerry common shares purchased through the NCIB will be cancelled.

As of May 31, 2017, BlackBerry had 531,475,629 common shares outstanding and the public float was 481,212,321 common shares, and the average daily trading volume on the TSX for the 6 months prior to June 1, 2017 was 1,378,965. Daily purchases through the facilities of the TSX will be limited to 344,741 common shares, other than block purchases. BlackBerry has entered into an automatic repurchase plan dated as of June 22, 2017 with TD Securities Inc. to allow for the repurchase of common shares at times when BlackBerry ordinarily would not be active in the market due to its own internal trading blackout periods, insider trading rules or otherwise. Purchases under the NCIB may commence on June 27, 2017 and will terminate on June 26, 2018 or on such earlier date as BlackBerry has repurchased the maximum number of common shares permitted under the NCIB.

In the past 12 months, BlackBerry repurchased for cancellation US$5,036,000 principal amount of its then-outstanding 6% unsecured convertible debentures (the "6% Debentures") at a weighted average price of US$105.26 per US$100.00 principal amount of 6% Debentures. In September 2016, BlackBerry redeemed all of the remaining 6% Debentures and completed a private placement of new 3.75% unsecured convertible debentures (the "3.75% Debentures").

On June 21, 2017, the shareholders of BlackBerry approved an increase in the number of shares available under BlackBerry's equity incentive plan. "The purpose of this repurchase program is to offset a portion of the expected dilution from our equity incentive plan and from conversion of our 3.75% Debentures," said BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO, John Chen. "We intend to take advantage of our strong cash position to purchase our shares when the market price does not reflect what we view to be the underlying value and future prospects of our business, without adversely affecting our strategic initiatives," added Mr. Chen.

The price that BlackBerry will pay for any shares under the share repurchase program will be the prevailing market price at the time of purchase. The share repurchase program will be effected in accordance with Rule 10b-18 under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the TSX's normal course issuer bid rules, which contain restrictions on the number of shares that may be purchased on a single day, subject to certain exceptions for block purchases, based on the average daily trading volumes of BlackBerry's shares on the applicable exchange. In addition, subject to TSX approval, BlackBerry may enter into forward purchase or swap contracts in connection with common shares which may be settled by physical settlement, cash settlement or a combination thereof. The forward price will be based on market price, dividend yield and market interest rates.

The actual number of shares to be purchased and the timing and pricing of any purchases under the share repurchase program will depend on future market conditions and upon potential alternative uses for cash resources. There is no assurance that any shares will be purchased under the share repurchase program and BlackBerry may elect to modify, suspend or discontinue the program at any time without prior notice.

The TSX has not reviewed nor does it accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry is a mobile-native security software and services company dedicated to securing people, devices, processes and systems for today's enterprise. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company was founded in 1984 and operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

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BlackBerry reports profitability in Fiscal 2018 First Quarter

BlackBerry has now announced their Q1 fiscal 2018 results. Non-GAAP revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was $244 million with GAAP revenue of $235 million. Approximately 79% of first quarter software and services revenue (excluding IP licensing and professional services) was recurring. BlackBerry had over 3,000 enterprise customer orders in the quarter.

"In Q1, we made great progress strengthening our strategic position in emerging growth markets, most notably in cybersecurity and the Enterprise of Things," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. "We secured key design wins in high growth segments of automotive technology, including advanced driver assist, digital instrument cluster and our hypervisor solution. Our ecosystem is growing with Qualcomm and NVIDIA adopting BlackBerry technology for their automotive platforms. Furthermore, we have been recognized once again as a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant on the strength of our BlackBerry Secure platform."

Q1 Highlights

  • Q1 non-GAAP total revenue of $244 million; GAAP total revenue of $235 million
  • Q1 non-GAAP Company total software and services revenues of $169 million; GAAP Company total software and services revenues of $160 million
  • Q1 non-GAAP gross margin of 67%; GAAP gross margin of 64%
  • Total cash balance increased to $2.6 billion at the end of the fiscal first quarter
  • Awarded $940 million from the positive outcome of the Qualcomm arbitration
  • Launched AtHoc ACCOUNT, a new FedRAMP-authorized solution that enables government agencies and large organizations to account for personnel in real time; BlackBerry AtHoc is the only platform to achieve FedRAMP authorization for crisis communications
  • TCL initiated shipments of the BlackBerry KEYone, as part of the Company's licensing program
  • BB Merah Putih initiated shipments of the BlackBerry Aurora, as part of the Company's licensing program
  • Launched BlackBerry SHIELD, an assessment tool for cybersecurity risk management; partnered with Allied World to make the tool available to its cyber insurance policyholders
  • After the quarter, launched QNX Hypervisor 2.0, which enables the partitioning and isolation of safety critical environments in connected cars
  • After the quarter, announced that Qualcomm is adopting QNX Hypervisor 2.0 in support of its digital cockpit solutions
  • After the quarter, BlackBerry named a "Leader" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites
  • After the quarter, announced the general availability of BBM Enterprise SDK to address the Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) market; more than 60 ISVs are using the tool to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android

"Our financial foundation is solid," continued Chen. "We reported non-GAAP profitability for the third consecutive quarter, and our balance sheet continues to strengthen. More importantly, we are better positioned to invest in our strategic areas of focus to drive long-term sustainable growth, while returning capital through share repurchases to further enhance shareholder value."

"Our outlook for fiscal 2018 is unchanged. We expect growth at or above the overall market in software and services. We also expect to be profitable on a non-GAAP basis and to generate positive free cash flow for the full year, excluding the benefit of the Qualcomm arbitration award."

BlackBerry Reports Profitability in Fiscal 2018 First Quarter

Jun 23, 2017 WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(June 23, 2017) -

Q1 non-GAAP EPS of $0.02 vs. $0.00 a year ago; GAAP EPS of $1.23 vs. ($1.28) loss a year ago BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global software leader in securing, connecting and mobilizing enterprises, today reported financial results for the three months ended May 31, 2017 (all figures in U.S. dollars and U.S. GAAP, except where otherwise indicated).

Q1 Highlights

  • Q1 non-GAAP total revenue of $244 million; GAAP total revenue of $235 million
  • Q1 non-GAAP Company total software and services revenues of $169 million; GAAP Company total software and services revenues of $160 million
  • Q1 non-GAAP gross margin of 67%; GAAP gross margin of 64%
  • Total cash balance increased to $2.6 billion at the end of the fiscal first quarter
  • Awarded $940 million from the positive outcome of the Qualcomm arbitration
  • Launched AtHoc ACCOUNT, a new FedRAMP-authorized solution that enables government agencies and large organizations to account for personnel in real time; BlackBerry AtHoc is the only platform to achieve FedRAMP authorization for crisis communications
  • TCL initiated shipments of the BlackBerry KEYone, as part of the Company's licensing program
  • BB Merah Putih initiated shipments of the BlackBerry Aurora, as part of the Company's licensing program
  • Launched BlackBerry SHIELD, an assessment tool for cybersecurity risk management; partnered with Allied World to make the tool available to its cyber insurance policyholders
  • After the quarter, launched QNX Hypervisor 2.0, which enables the partitioning and isolation of safety critical environments in connected cars
  • After the quarter, announced that Qualcomm is adopting QNX Hypervisor 2.0 in support of its digital cockpit solutions
  • After the quarter, BlackBerry named a "Leader" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites
  • After the quarter, announced the general availability of BBM Enterprise SDK to address the Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) market; more than 60 ISVs are using the tool to develop mobile apps for iOS and Android

Q1 Results

Non-GAAP revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was $244 million with GAAP revenue of $235 million. Approximately 79% of first quarter software and services revenue (excluding IP licensing and professional services) was recurring. BlackBerry had over 3,000 enterprise customer orders in the quarter.

Non-GAAP operating income was $14 million, and non-GAAP earnings per share was $0.02. GAAP operating income was $536 million. GAAP net income for the quarter was $671 million, or $1.23 per fully diluted share. GAAP net income includes $25 million in amortization of acquired intangibles, $17 million in restructuring charges, $218 million of fair value adjustment related to the debentures, $815 million in expense recovery and $139 million in investment income related to the positive outcome of the Qualcomm arbitration, and other amounts as summarized in a table below.

Total cash, cash equivalents, short-term and long-term investments increased by $855 million to approximately $2.6 billion as of May 31, 2017. This reflects free cash flow of $860 million, which includes cash flow from operations of $863 million. Excluding $605 million in the face value of the Company's debt, the net cash balance at the end of the quarter was approximately $1.9 billion. There were no purchase orders with contract manufacturers at the end of the first quarter, or at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, down from $150 million a year ago.

"In Q1, we made great progress strengthening our strategic position in emerging growth markets, most notably in cybersecurity and the Enterprise of Things," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. "We secured key design wins in high growth segments of automotive technology, including advanced driver assist, digital instrument cluster and our hypervisor solution. Our ecosystem is growing with Qualcomm and NVIDIA adopting BlackBerry technology for their automotive platforms. Furthermore, we have been recognized once again as a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant on the strength of our BlackBerry Secure platform."

"Our financial foundation is solid," continued Chen. "We reported non-GAAP profitability for the third consecutive quarter, and our balance sheet continues to strengthen. More importantly, we are better positioned to invest in our strategic areas of focus to drive long-term sustainable growth, while returning capital through share repurchases to further enhance shareholder value."

"Our outlook for fiscal 2018 is unchanged. We expect growth at or above the overall market in software and services. We also expect to be profitable on a non-GAAP basis and to generate positive free cash flow for the full year, excluding the benefit of the Qualcomm arbitration award."

Conference Call and Webcast

A conference call and live webcast will be held beginning at 8 a.m. ET, which can be accessed by dialing 1-844-309-0607 or by logging on at http://ca.blackberry.com/company/investors/events.html. A replay of the conference call will also be available at approximately 11 a.m. ET by dialing 1-855-859-2056 or 1-404-537-3406 and entering Conference ID #23915085 or by clicking the link above.

About BlackBerry

BlackBerry is a mobile-native security software and services company dedicated to securing people, devices, processes and systems for today's enterprise. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the Company was founded in 1984 and operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit www.BlackBerry.com.

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BlackBerry Hub now supports BBM Enterprise, Facebook lite, Messenger lite, Signal, TextNow and QQ accounts!

These updates have now reached public release and have now started rolling out through Google Play.

The latest beta for BlackBerry Hub has started rolling out through Google Play and this release is pretty huge for integrations being added. This time around, BBM Enterprise, Facebook Lite, Messenger Lite, QQ, Signal, and TextNow accounts have been added in addition to a few other notable improvements.

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Watch the replay of the BlackBerry Annual General Shareholders Meeting 2017

If you missed out on tuning into BlackBerry's AGM held in Waterloo on June 21st, you can now watch the video replay. It was all pretty standard as CEO John Chen shared milestones in the company's journey so far, how they delivered on the Fiscal Year 2017 promises and how they are now focused on securing, connecting, and mobilizing the Enterprise of Things as a leading business software provider.

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SEGA Forever brings Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, and more to mobile for free!

Are you not really into any of the new games out there? Longing for some retro games on your smartphone? If so, SEGA Networks Inc. has just what you're looking for. The first batch of the SEGA Forever collection has now been announced and made available for both Android and iOS.

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BlackBerry announces election results for the company's Board of Directors

Ahead of BlackBerry announcing their Q1 Fiscal 2018 results on Friday, June 23, 2017, the company has now announced the election results for the company's Board of Directors during their annual, and special meeting of shareholders held on June 21, 2017.

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CrackBerry Android app update fixes scrolling with the KEYone keyboard

We're always hard at work to keep the CrackBerry app running smoothly, and a big complaint from BlackBerry KEYone owners has been the issues with scrolling using the keyboard on our posts. We're happy to announce that in the latest update, this very issue has been addressed and the app now works flawlessly with scrolling using the physical keyboard on the KEYone.

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BlackBerry KEYone now available in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania!

As the BlackBerry KEYone rollout continues, those looking to pick one up in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary or Romania can now do so. Multiple retailers across those areas have now made the BlackBerry KEYone available online and in-store where applicable.

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