BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s shop has announced that the pre-order inventory of the yet-to-be released Classic has been sold out in North America, says a report from CrackBerry. The online shop is selling the Classic at $449, and the stock will be re-filled sometime in early January 2015, according to BlackBerry’s online shop. However, the BlackBerry Classic is still listed as in stock in the U.K., France and Germany.
BlackBerry needs one big hit
The Canadian smartphone maker is trying to regain its lost position by integrating the popular keypad and trackpad features from its past devices into its new ones to lure corporate customers. BlackBerry is all set to launch its next smartphone in New York, Singapore and Frankfurt on Wednesday. BlackBerry CEO John Chen is confident the Classic will be a step ahead in popularity compared to the Passport, the company’s square-shaped smartphone. Brian Colello, an equity analyst at Morningstar Securities in Chicago, thinks the company needs just one out of two smartphones to be successful.
He said, “One of these devices, the Passport or the Classic — and maybe it will be the Classic — needs to emerge as that front-end device that is in the customers’ hands.”
Chen hopes for big things from the Classic
Since Chen arrived at the helm of BlackBerry, he has been continuously working on a turnaround plan, and the Classic smartphone is one such step in his turnaround quest. After joining BlackBerry last year, Chen has channeled the company’s resources into the advancement of software, services and the needs of enterprise clients instead of uplifting its smartphone category (once dominated by BlackBerry), in a bid to become profitable in the next fiscal year.
The Canadian company is determined to increase its revenue two-fold to $500 million and generate $100 million in revenue from BlackBerry Messenger by the next fiscal year. However, to maintain cash inflows in the short-term and achieve profit, the company needs to earn revenue from flagship phones such as the Classic. Chen noted that to be profitable on hardware, BlackBerry needs to sell 10 million smartphones annually.
Work on the Passport was already underway when Chen entered the company as CEO, and he says the Classic is the aftereffect of feedback from customers.