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A rare spot of good news shines on BlackBerry

BlackBerry sold a million Z10 handsets in the fiscal quarter ending this March, pushing the Canadian company back in the black. 

By Matthew Shaer / March 28, 2013

People view the new Blackberry Z10 device at a Rogers store in Toronto in this Feb. 5, 2013, file photo.

Reuters

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BlackBerry, the Canadian company formerly known as RIM, has long needed a little good news. 

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And today, that good news arrived, in the form of an earnings report indicating that BlackBerry is making money again. According to the earnings report, in the fiscal quarter ending in March, BlackBerry sold a million Z10 smartphones, good enough for an overall profit of 22 cents per share. The numbers beat analyst expectations and significantly helped brighten the prospects of BlackBerry, which recently released a new operating system, BlackBerry 10

Both the Z10 and BB10 have received generally positive reviews from critics. 

The OS, Wired UK noted recently, is "smooth and sophisticated as well as being very practical and easy to use once you get your head around the new way of doing things. It also has some attractive out-of-the-box security options for corporate users." 

So is the new earnings report an indication that BlackBerry is ascendent again? Well, over at USA Today, Edward Baig urges a little equanimity. Yes, he agrees, the report is positive. But no, it's not exactly a game-changer. 

"BlackBerry's challenges haven't suddenly disappeared," Baig writes. "It has to convince you and me that its phone should get the nod over other hot new devices you'll soon be able to buy, including the highly-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4, and the HTC One. You can also assume we will hear something new from Apple at some point — something bigger, I suspect, then this week's news that there would finally be an iPhone 5 for T-Mobile." 

In related news, Mike Lazaridis, a co-founder of RIM, has announced he will step down from the board of BlackBerry to concentrate on quantum computing research, Bloomberg reports. In January of last year, Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, then the co-CEOs of RIM, were replaced by Thorstein Heins, the former RIM chief operating officer. 

"I’ve been there for more than 29 years, it’s quite a career," Lazaridis told Bloomberg this week. "It’s now time to move on to my next venture."

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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