BlackBerry has unveiled two new phones for its portfolio, indicating that it still has hopes of playing in the hardware market despite slumping sales.
CEO John Chen confirmed the two new devices that are on their way, including the Passport (pictured on the left), a 4.5in screen device with a physical QWERTY keyboard. He confirmed the device on a conference call and that it would launch in London in September.
Chen also showed off the Blackberry Classic, which looks more of a standard update to the firm's stable with a smaller screen and full keyboard.
Although Chen did not confirm the specs of either device, he did suggest that referring to online leaks about the Passport would be a good idea for those keen to know more about it.
Previous leaks about the device have said the 4.5in screen will have a 1440×1440 resolution and be wider than other large-sized devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
The announcement came amid the firm's first quarter 2015 earnings call in which it revealed that a rise in enterprise sales and services helped push it back towards break-even results in its first quarter earnings for its fiscal year 2015.
BlackBerry said it made a profit of $23m in the first quarter, beating analyst expectations. Revenue dropped to $966m in the same period, though, and compared against $3.07bn in 2013 and $976m in the previous quarter of its 2014 financial year.
BlackBerry CEO john Chen introduced the results in a briefing that offered an overall view of business divisions, their performance and their upcoming launches. He added that everything is going to plan.
"We continue to make progress with our plans to return to growth and profitability," he said. "All areas show stabilisation or improvement."
Chen added that he was confident of the future, saying that BlackBerry has a "good product roadmap" across its enterprise, device, BBM and QNX businesses. "Demand looks strong. We have run low on certain items," he said.
Chen was also optimistic about the EZ Pass programme, which tempts firms over to BES 10 for managing their Blackberry, iOS and Android devices from BES 5 or competitor products.
Chen said there are now 1.2 million licences for the program although he think this should be far higher.
"The 1.2 million is low in my book, I don't know how big I should be looking but I would expect it to be literally in the tens of millions. It has to be," he said.
Forthcoming launches include BBM for Windows, which is due for a July launch, and QNX Cloud, which is expected to arrive in December. Also coming are more ‘value add services', said Chen, and he talked up an identity management system for security aware enterprises. This week the firm announced access to the Amazon Appstore and its library of more than 200,000 apps.
For now Chen said that quarters like this one would bring confidence back to the watching market. He added that the firm would expect to report profit at some point in 2016.
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