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BlackBerry loses a billion dollars in three months, blames it on failed Z10

Sharif Sakr
September 27, 2013
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BlackBerry has just reported a $935 million hit in Q2 due entirely to what it's calling a "Z10 Inventory Charge" -- in other words, a loss associated with creating a stock of flagship handsets that subsequently failed to sell. Echoing Microsoft's catastrophic write-down due to unsold Surface RT inventory, this single loss was enough to wipe out much of the company's quarterly revenue of $1.6 billion. When added to a further loss due to corporate restructuring, it resulted in a final GAAP loss for BlackBerry of $965 million. It's hard to gauge exactly how many of the newer BB 10 handsets (namely the Z10 and Q10) sold during the quarter, but BlackBerry admits that "most" of the 3.7 million units that reached end users were older BlackBerry 7 devices, so the figures can't be pretty. For his part, Thorsten Heins says he's "very disappointed" with the results, but he claims the company saw growth in enterprise server (BES 10) customers and he insists there's still a future in that side of the business -- a future that could soon belong to someone else.

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