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BlackBerry: Missed Q2 Estimates, but Sold 200,000 Passport Phones (Updated)

Can the BlackBerry Passport boost the company's global smartphone market share?

Vjeran Pavic

BlackBerry said it sold more than 200,000 of its newly introduced Passport smartphones, selling out of the device within a matter of hours.

Chief Executive John Chen trumpeted the response to the square-shaped smartphone — the first major new device introduced since he took over the helm of the company in November — as a sign that the struggling company is on the mend.

BlackBerry is on track to return to profitability in 2016, Chen said, buoyed by its devices and its focus on the enterprise.

Chen said the company has seen a surge in the number of licenses purchased for its EZ Pass service, which provides a single tool for managing BlackBerry, Apple and Android devices. He projects a doubling of software revenue next year.

The newly introduced Blend — which allows BlackBerry users to access their messages, work documents and other content on a range of devices while protected by BlackBerry’s secure network — has received “tremendous” response, Chen said.

In its second quarter, BlackBerry missed Wall Street’s expectations, with sales plummeting 47 percent to $916 million, short of the $949.6 million analysts estimated.

The company lost $11 million in the period, excluding certain items, or two cents a share. That beat analysts’ estimates of 16 cents a share, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

When the results are adjusted for the value of its debentures, and for restructuring charges, BlackBerry’s losses amount to 39 cents a share or $207 million.

The company is struggling to regain its footing with consumers; the introduction of its square Passport smartphone represents a bid to win back users.

BlackBerry’s attention-grabbing unveiling of the device — including events in Toronto, London and Dubai — is also a signal to corporate customers it hasn’t waved the white flag of surrender.

Even so, the company and Chen have a long way to go to lift BlackBerry’s marketshare off the floor.

BlackBerry currently holds less than a 1 percent share of the global smartphone market, according to research from the International Data Corp.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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