This past Thursday, Blackberry released its financial results for first quarter 2017. As expected, revenues for the Canadian company declined 39% in the quarter to $424 Million. This led to a net loss of $670m, compared with a $68m profit in the same period a year ago. The company attributed the large loss to $501 million charges for hardware contracts and royalty agreements that were no longer relevant.
On the handsets front, Blackberry saw sales of its devices decline to 500,000 from 600,000 in the last quarter. Blackberry is still adamant that it will keep the devices business despite calls by analysts to drop this business and concentrate on the more profitable software business. During the earnings call, Blackberry CEO John Chen said the company will unveil two devices this July.
The two devices will target the mid-range market segment while still running on Android. Blackberry is seeking to undo the mistakes of the Blackberry Priv, its high-end android device which the market considered too pricey. Manufacturing of the devices was outsourced to China, a decision made a few years back to save on costs.
A while back, we shared what were seen as renders of the two Android devices code-named Rome and Hamburg. Hamburg is a full touchscreen device while Rome has a more traditional keyboard. Speculations suggest that Rome is fitted with an AMOLED screen. Hamburg spots a metallic body and could have a surprise pop keyboard like the Blackberry Priv. According to GSM Arena, the all-touch Hamburg is being manufactured by TCL, the Chinese firm synonymous with the Alcatel range of phones.
Below is an excerpt from the website detailing this partnership
A TCL device with the product name DTEK 50 has been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which is odd because DTEK is the name of the privacy suite that ships on the BlackBerry Priv. But wait, there’s more! The model number for TCL’s device is listed as STH100-2, which strangely manages to fully adhere to BlackBerry’s way of using model numbers for its products (case in point – the Priv is STV100-1).
That in itself is circumstantial but likely true, with talk that the Hamburg was inspired by Alcatel iDol 4. The Hamburg will come with a 5.2-inch 1080p touchscreen and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset. The Idol 4 has the exact same screen size and resolution, but uses the Snapdragon 617 instead.