However, BlackBerry sales are still way off what they were a year ago

BlackBerry CEO John Chen’s strategy might be showing a  little bit of traction.

After three consecutive quarters of sequential decline, shipments BlackBerrys  rebounded slightly in Q2 of this year from the previous quarter, market research firm IDC reported Thursday in a report on smartphone shipments.

It shipped 1.5 million units in the quarter ending June 30. On the other hand, for the same period a year ago it shipped 6.7 million smart phones. In this year’s Q2 it accounted for one half of one per cent of all smart phone sales. By comparison 7.4 million Windows Phones shipped — although that was a drop from 8.2 million in the same period a year ago.

So the bounce Microsoft was hoping for in buying the handset division of Nokia has yet to materialize.

Apple shipped 35.2 million iPhones in Q2 this year — a drop of 12,7 per cent over the same period a year ago.

BlackBerry [TSX:BB] saw improvement within one of its key markets, Asia/Pacific, as well as some gains among enterprise users within North America and Western Europe, IDC said.

This week the company announced that its BBM Protected service, a secure version of its text messaging offering, now supports devices running BlackBerry Balance. Balance is a mode that lets IT administrators set up  protected work and unprotected personal data spaces through BES 10 on BlackBerrys. Until now BBM Protected only worked for devices in workplace mode. Now it works in both modes.

The worldwide smartphone market reached a new milestone in the second quarter, said IDC, moving past the 300 million unit mark for the first time.

Manufacturers shipped 301.3 million smartphones worldwide between April and the end of June, up 25.3 per cent from the 240.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013.

The dominant smartphone operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4 per cent in the quarter, leaving little space for competitors.

Android — on smart phones from Samsung Electronics, HTC, LG, Sony and others — was the primary driver with its partners shipping a total of 255.3 million smartphones, up 33.3 per cent over the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, iOS saw its market share decline despite posting 12.7 per cent year-over-year shipment growth. That may change next month, when Apple is expected to announce new and larger iPhones.

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