BlackBerry suffering global slide as developing world shuns devices for low-cost Android phones

According to the latest regulatory filing, BlackBerry's woes don't stop at home and in major Western markets. The developing world, once a powerhouse for the firm, is also losing faith.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
Image: CNET

BlackBerry's troubles aren't limited to North America and Europe. Those in the developing world, which once embraced the fruit-themed devices, are also shifting away from the once-proud phone maker.

According to its latest 6-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, BlackBerry described how the "intense competition" from the wider smartphone circle is impacting the company's finances, and that much of the decline it saw in the U.S. market is "now being experienced globally."

Developing markets, typically those in the Middle East, India, and Indonesia, where BlackBerry has typically seen strong success, are rejecting BlackBerry devices in favor of lower-cost Android-based devices. But also, the lack of available apps for the company's next-generation platform is also cited as a major reason why the firm has slid in the Western markets.

It explains in full:

The increase in competition encountered by the Company in international markets is due to the recent entry into those markets of global competitors offering high end devices that compete with the Company’s BlackBerry 10 devices, as well as other competitors targeting those markets with lower end Android-based devices that compete with the Company’s lower cost devices. The decline can also be attributed to consumer preferences for devices with access to the broadest number of applications, such as those available in the iOS and Android environments. 

The company said at the end of its fiscal second quarter earnings in September, there were over 130,000 apps available for BlackBerry 10 smartphones, with far more — over 230,000 apps — available through its BlackBerry World, designed for older BlackBerry 7 devices.

According to The New York Times, publication of the filing was delayed due to the cancellation of BlackBerry's fiscal second quarter earnings call on Friday.

Typically companies offer a follow-up call for analysts and shareholders, but this was scrapped due to an earlier release, warning investors that the upcoming quarterly earnings were expected to be worse than first thought.

BlackBerry reported a $965 million loss following a massive inventory charge as a result of the poor sales of its Z10 smartphone. The smartphone maker only a week earlier announced it would cut 40 percent of its staff base as it continues to eat away at its vast cash reserves. During the quarter, BlackBerry dipped form $3.1 billion in cash to $2.6 billion.

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