Remember BlackBerry? The one-time giant of smartphones has gone through tumultuous times over the past six years, and become a much smaller software company. Its results last week showed just how small: third-quarter revenues were $226m (£169m), its lowest three-monthly total since 2004, with an operating loss of $258m.
The Canadian company’s chief executive, John Chen, is a turnaround specialist who believes that the future is in self-driving cars, where automakers and software firms alike see huge promise. It is investing hope in QNX, which it bought in 2010: a maker of software that underpins car entertainment and data systems.
That is a long way from the early 2000s, when BlackBerry was one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers and Apple had yet to launch the all-conquering iPhone. A failure to adapt to trends like keyboard-less devices was its undoing as iPhones and Android phones took off. Then came a calamitous multi-billion bet on a new phone operating system, BB10, in 2013. It abandoned handsets altogether last year and the road ahead remains rocky – not least due to the state of its finances.