Published in Mobiles

Blackberry shareholders revolt

by on21 August 2017

Chipzilla enters the fight and provides real competition 

Blackberry shares have been plunging from their more than two year high hit in June after lackluster earnings have raised doubts about prospects for a turnaround, particularly as Intel appears to be eating into its markets. 

Joel Kulina, a technology sector market maker for Wedbush Securities, said that Blackberry has been a turnaround story now for about five years and people don’t have the patience.

Chief Executive Officer John Chen has spent years remaking Blackberry as a software company focused on selling to automakers and other industrial businesses.
Revenue, which peaked at about $20 billion when Blackberry was dominating the smartphone market, has fallen sharply. Analysts expect it to drop below $1 billion this year for the first time since 2004 and decline again in the following fiscal year.

In late June, Blackberry reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts' forecasts due to an unexpected sales decline, ramping up pressure on the company to meet its goal of boosting software and services revenue by 10 percent to 15 percent this year.

Blackberry declined to comment on the stock price, but QNX manager Grant Courville said it expected to sign deals with at least three major companies to get QNX into self-driving vehicles.

Last year Blackberry announced a deal for Ford to expand use of QNX, which is used mostly in car information and entertainment systems. The companies have provided few details on the arrangement.

QNX, which is already in most automobile "infotainment" systems, is one product that Blackberry bulls talked up as the stock rallied earlier this year, saying the plans to expand its use in other parts of vehicles could generate significant revenue.

Yet investors "are figuring out that it isn't a straight path to a pot of gold" for QNX and now Intel is posing a threat to QNX.

Intel owns a rival operating system and this year paid $15.3 billion to buy Mobileye, a maker of sensors and cameras for self-driving vehicles.

Luxury carmaker Audi signed up for Intel's system in the safety-related electronic control unit for its 2018 A8 sedan, which will be one of the most advanced self-driving cars on the road.

Toyota joined a self-driving technology alliance whose members include Intel, Ericsson and Denso, but not Blackberry.

Blackberry's Courville has dismissed the Intel competition. He said QNX was being used in at least six automotive programs based on Intel chips, some for self-driving vehicles.

Last modified on 21 August 2017
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