The Blackberry passport

When BlackBerry reports quarterly results this Friday, March 27, investors will look for signs that the company’s core businesses are stabilizing. For the quarter, it’s a 50/50 toss-up that revenue will fall. Profits may even go up. BlackBerry may have achieved respectable sales for new BlackBerry 10 devices. It just needs good sales momentum in the places where the new devices are rolling out. Adoption for BlackBerry Enterprise Server is progressing but will probably not make up for the revenue drop from services. As users retire their pre BB10 devices in favor of a newer device, BlackBerry no longer makes service revenue from them.

There are few other things enterprise customers will watch out for from the quarterly report.

Passport sales in the enterprise

BlackBerry noted strong reviews from the media for the Passport. The company will probably report moderate sales at best, especially in the U.S. AT&T only started offering the device on February 20, 2015. Still, the device should win over enterprise users. Managed over BES 12, the Passport is ideal for users who need a highly usable, secure, communications device. On BB10.3 ‘Blend’ lets users access and synchronize apps like BBM and access email via a PC desktop.

When connected to BES12, administrators may upgrade the functionality, through many add-ons options.

BlackBerry and other retailers very seldom offered discounts for the Passport in the last three months. Even now, there is only a $100 discount for the Passport in the U.S. In Canada, there is no sale.

Classic sales should be strong

For just $499, the BlackBerry Classic should have strong demand. Even though the company’s market share is 0.5 percent, there will always be a niche group of users who demand a smart phone with a physical keyboard.

Photo from BlackBerry
Photo from BlackBerry

New devices ahead

To win over customers in the start-up segment, BlackBerry is releasing the Leap. This device has 16GB of storage, an 8MP camera, a 5 inch display, and 25 hours of battery life. Since the device is not much of an upgrade to the Z30, customers might want to consider getting the Z30 instead before it is discontinued. The reason: Z30 runs on a Dual Core 1.7 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960T Pro. The Leap uses an MSM8960 chip, a three-year-old processor last used on the Q10 and Z10. The Z30 also has a micro HDMI out, which is handy for displaying presentations on a projector.

At CES, BlackBerry gave a sneak peak of a device with slider technology.


Eager to grow in the enterprise market, Samsung is partnering with BlackBerry through enterprise services offerings. WorkLife and SecuSUITE on Samsung’s KNOX software will boost the level of mobile security for Samsung devices in the workplace.

Google is also working with BlackBerry to develop enterprise mobile management tools. This will allow Androids to switch between personal and work profiles. The split between personal and work is already a feature offered on BB10 devices managed on BES.

Samsung Knox
(Image: Samsung Knox).

Bottom line

Investors will be skittish when BlackBerry’s results are announced. With results in the short-term good or bad, it will not really matter. The firm is setting itself on the right path: it is keeping its focus on mobile security and device management.

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