During the Mobile World Congress 2018 conference, senior managers of BlackBerry Francois Mahieu and Alain Lejeune announced positive market reaction to the company’s last flagship. This was announced by the editor of The Verge, Vlad Savov, who talked with the company’s management.
According to top managers, the launch of KeyOne was “an absolute success”: the device sold in more than 50 countries, more than 110 operators. However, according to IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo, in 2017 the company shipped only 850,000 smartphones , and not only KeyOne, but all together. In comparison with large producers, the BlackBerry’s share is “somewhere in the region of a fraction of a percent.” The result is worse only in the Essential Phone Andy Rubin, which was able to sell 90,000 devices per year . At the same time, HMD Global, which owns the Nokia brand, sold 4.4 million devices in a year .
Savov noted that the company does not try to mislead all, just for it at the moment it is not the quantity of sales that is important, but their quality – how well smartphones are sold in the channels of the most direct sales to potential consumers. This is what the top managers meant when they said that the BlackBerry mission was “completed” after the release of the first flagship device in conjunction with the Chinese TCL, which bought the brand.
However, despite widespread adoption, the company’s smartphones do not cause consumers’ interest. Part of the problem is due to the fact that many customers still think of the BlackBerry as a developer of expensive smartphones on their own OS without popular applications that are inferior to Android in everything. A new mission of the company is to tell people that this is not so.
According to top managers of BlackBerry, KeyOne had good sales figures in China, where the smartphone allegedly became a “breath of fresh air” among the copies of the iPhone. In 2018, the company plans to release at least two new smartphones.
In 2016, the Chinese company TCL bought the brand BlackBerry. At that time, the company held 0.1% of the smartphone market (compared to 20% in 2009) and planned to stop producing phones to focus on software development.