BlackBerry Inc. (BBRY) is back. While the company may not be dominating the market, they posted a profit. This in itself was a shock to many people speculating that BlackBerry didn't stand a fighting chance. With only one quarter of BlackBerry 10 being on the market, the Canadian phone maker's ability to turn a profit has brought even more attention and opinion to its stock. Is BlackBerry really here to stay, or will they fall back to the wayside?
Sales and Consumers
BlackBerry shipped 1 million Z10 smartphones during Q1 2013. Many investors expected a much worse result, but BlackBerry has managed to claw its way back. What's interesting to note about these sales figures is that people are not just upgrading from their older (ancient) BlackBerry 7 devices, but are switching over from other platforms. Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry's CEO, stated that 55% of people who bought the Z10 globally made the switch over from different operating systems. This is proof that the market is flexible and that people are ready to for something other than the Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) oligopoly. Here to fill the gap is, of course, BlackBerry.
Growing App Store
Mobile applications, or apps, are the lifeblood of the modern smartphone industry. Without a proper app infrastructure BlackBerry would be thrown aside, as people are increasingly relying on their phones to perform every task imaginable. With BB10 the company promised 70,000 functional apps. That number is now over 100,000. BlackBerry has aggressively pursued developers and companies to make the BlackBerry more functional, and the results show. Every day new apps pop up on BlackBerry World, which is the company's app store. It is essential that the amount, and the quality, of BlackBerry's mobile applications keeps increasing in order for them to become a more solid competitor. Thankfully it seems that BlackBerry's management is aware of this.
Diversifying Revenue Streams
BlackBerry may be doing well for itself with the Z10, but it hasn't lost sight of the big picture. There are still a variety of markets where consumers are extremely loyal to BlackBerry's older operating system, BlackBerry 7. The company plans to expand its offerings in these emerging markets, offering BB7 phones alongside newer BlackBerry 10 models. The CEO also confirmed that BlackBerry will not just be offering the high-end Z10 within developed markets; they are planning a "mid-range" BlackBerry 10 device that will appeal to more cost-conscious consumers. This is a vital step for the company, as the lower segments of the market are less competitive and still offer appealing margins.
Right now BlackBerry seems to be making all the right moves. It regained investor confidence by posting a quarter in the black, and will continue its recovery through aggressive marketing and a more diverse range of products. Going long BlackBerry is a good idea for the near-term.