BlackBerry has missed expectations on revenue for Q2 2015, with $916 million in money coming in, which compares to $1.57 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had predicted north of $940 million for the quarter. Expenses were down under Chen’s leadership, with R&D spend dropping from $360 million to $186 million. Sales, marketing and administration also dropped from $527 million to $195 million, but cost cutting alone wasn’t enough to right the ship this quarter, or stave off greater than expected losses.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen explained on a subsequent earnings call that the company has seen 200,000 orders for its BlackBerry Passport, the new smartphone it unveiled earlier this week at a launch event held simultaneously in Toronto, London and Dubai. Chen emphasized the device’s enterprise user appeal, and the company’s Canadian roots at the event. BlackBerry also touted an active BBM user network of 91 million, which is up 6 million from the number last officially released in March. That’s not a meteoric growth rate, but it is a decent showing for the company’s messenger ambitions.
One point to note: BlackBerry had been talking up its device “sellouts” online at Amazon and its own store, but the fact that it’s also revealing that it had presumably less than 200,000 units to go around to satisfy initial demand means the accomplishment isn’t necessarily indicative of resounding success. Still, despite the disappointing performance for this quarter, the company at least has a few reasons to believe things could be looking up going into next calendar year. Chen still says that BBM and BlackBerry Blend, its cross-platform software for interacting with firewalled data, will need until at least FY 2016 before they beginning delivering meaningful revenue, however.