Mixed news for BlackBerry

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Mixed news for BlackBerry

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BlackBerry has announced better than expected quarterly results.

The Canadian smartphone maker credited demand for its new Z10 touchscreen device, as it sold around one million in the quarter.

The handset – powered by BlackBerry’s new BB10 operating system – is a key part of the company’s attempt to regain relevance and win back market share in the smartphone arena that it once dominated.

It shipped a total of around six million smartphones in the three months up to the beginning of March, but sales were below analysts’ forecast.

BlackBerry did report a surprise profit in the quarter, thanks to cost-cutting measures, but its subscriber base fell slightly more than expected – to about 76 million from 79 million as of December 1 which clouded its long-term turnaround prospects.

Net income in the fourth quarter was $98 million (76.5 million euros), compared with a year-earlier loss of $125 million, but revenue remained far below the levels of a year earlier.

“I think the one million units is a nice start,” said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello. “I think the encouraging thing is that BlackBerry was still able to sell a good portion of older models and generate solid service revenue during the transition. I think that will be important in terms of cash balance and profitability.”