So! The quarterly fiscal results for BlackBerry, the mobility company formerly known as RIM, were announced this morning.
They were better than expected (one million Z10 smartphones sold!), but still a bit mixed. You can read the numbers in Zack Whittaker's news hit here and piece them together in his follow-on analysis here.
Chief executive Thorsten Heins and CFO Brian Bidulka elaborated during a subsequent call with investors. They had quite a few interesting things to say.
Ten quotes to note, plus my translations, below:
1.) "It has not been easy, but the BlackBerry team is delivering." It's a brutally competitive market, and the former RIM was spinning its wheels in despair. Just getting the restructured company (approx. 12,700 employees) to set goals and meet them has been a fundamental achievement and improvement.
2.) "We're seeing a new attitude and cultural shift in the company where we look to innovate faster and [ask] how to operate more efficiently." The worst of our existential crisis is behind us. We're looking forward.
3.) "Revenues for BlackBerry 10 users are similar to other leading platforms." This is with regard to downloads. His point: the demand is there; we just need to meet it with the right products.
4.) "Fifty-five percent of the Z10 customers globally are coming from platforms other than BlackBerry." We've got some traction with our flagship device; don't discount it just because of our corporate troubles.
5.) "Our financial transformation was outstanding. To say it was challenging could be the understatement of the year." I may have goofed in what I said in those early days, but you can't deny that I'm getting our house in order based on the market in which we're now operating -- one that we no longer sit atop of.
6.) "The Q10 launch in April is on track." That's a big deal for a company that has had serious problems in the past keeping promises. Given that the Q10 is the company's next QWERTY device, and that's the form factor used by its most dedicated customers, this matters.
7.) "We are running a business, so we will continue to manage the short-term effectively while not compromising long-term strategy." I'm fully aware that as chief executive, I answer to both shareholders and customers. I'm doing my best.
8.) "We plan to stay in the services industry and are actively building." There are possible revenue growth opportunities in the licensing of BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry messaging services, cross-platform offerings, plus all the security and enterprise services we've made our name on.
9.) "Smartphones will play a major part, but our business includes expanding into other markets." This one's a Bidulka quote. Smartphones may be the big shiny object, but the real wins have been shoring up the company's supply chain and preparing it for an offensive, not defensive, strategy.
10.) "We see strong interest from our corporate customers in maintaining the BlackBerry install base. It means something to them." We've spent decades building this brand, our loyal customers know we made a series of grave missteps in recent years but they're willing to give us the benefit of the doubt now that we've committed ourselves to a new strategy and leadership team.