BlackBerry had promised a pretty dismal financial report for the quarter, and the company has followed through on that promise. While BlackBerry brought in $1.6 billion in revenue and sold about 3.7 million smartphones, the company reported a $965 operating loss.

Most of that is from unsold inventory of the company’s latest flagship phone, the BlackBerry Z10.

BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10

The BlackBerry Z10 is a smartphone with a 4.2 inch, 1280 x 768 pixel display, 16GB of storage, front and rear cameras, and the Blackberry 10 operating system.

It was the company’s first device to ship with BlackBerry 10, featuring an entirely new operating system with a heavy emphasis on touch input. That’s a surprisingly risky move for BlackBerry, a company which has built a reputation as one of the few that still offers smartphones with physical keyboards.

The company has also been playing up the enterprise-ready features of the Z10 and BlackBerry 10 software including software which lets users create separate profiles for work and personal use so they don’t have to carry around two different phones.

But apparently that wasn’t enough. The vast majority of the $965 million operating loss in the second quarter is due to unsold Z10 inventory — in fact, the “Z10 Inventory Charge” comes to about $934 million.

In other words, BlackBerry built way more phones than it could sell.

BlackBerry does offer another BB10 handset, the BlackBerry Q10. That model has a physical keyboard below a smaller screen. It’s not clear whether that mode is selling better than the Z10, or if BlackBerry just didn’t build as many. But the BlackBerry Q10 didn’t get its own section in the press release announcing the latest fiscal results.

The good news for BlackBerry is that the company may not have to answer to public shareholders much longer. Fairfax Financial has announced a plan to buyout the company for $4.7 billion and take it private, which could give BlackBerry a better chance of turning its fortunes around without as much public scrutiny… or something.

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8 replies on “BlackBerry posts $965 million loss, mostly due to unsold Z10 phones”

  1. gee should we cut the price any to maybe sell some more……..nahhhhhhhh

  2. All bb has to do is get their phones to work with Android. Maybe dual boot if they still want to market their software side.

    1. They partially did, BB10 includes a Android player/emulator… But simply running Android apps isn’t a cure all, they really needed something to make them stand out and make consumers take notice and find a reason to want to get a BB instead of just another Android device.

      While dual booting would just basically just make them yet another Android device offering with some minor twists and there’s enough of those types, like the feature promoting Motorola X, to still make their chances slim.

      The fact the Q10 actually sold a lot better than their flagship Z10 is actually telling, as the Z10 was more like what is standard these days for Smart Phones and thus made it stand out less. While the Q10 was an improvement on the traditional BB phone and thus stood out more, especially to the actual fan base of users who like BB phones because they’re one of the only ones who ever got the keyboard done right for a phone.

      Really, there are plenty of Android device makers and they don’t all make it! So BB always needed to do a lot more to really stand a chance…

    2. A warehouse full of cut-rate Z10’s + Cyanogen Corporate Edition Android OS = Pure awesomeness

    3. Totally. They need to pull an HP and firesale what they have sitting around and release an unlock for the bootloader

  3. Whoever it was at Fairfax Financial that made the decision to buy Blackberry may have to worry about his/her job in the not too distant future.

    1. Assuming the take over doesn’t mean a complete re-working of the company… it can be either good news or more bad news…

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