BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Key Issues To Watch: 15% Subscriber Loss, Facebook Inc (FB) Chat & Execs Out

Editor’s Note: Related Tickers: BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)

comScore: BlackBerry Just Lost 15% Of Its US Subscriber Base In One Quarter (Forbes)
The June numbers from COMSCORE, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCOR) are out and the biggest surprise concerns BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY). According to the research firm, BlackBerry’s share of US smartphone subscribers tanked to 4.4% in three months ending in June from 5.2% in three months ending in March. That is a 0.8 percentage point drop in just one quarter. People have grown blasé about BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) decline in America, but this quarter was not like any other. The April-June period was when the key new Z1o and Q10 models both ramped up in North America. In that sense, this spring was a key test of whether BlackBerry can stop its US share plunge. It does not look like it can.

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Smartphones get Facebook Inc (FB) UpdateThree more senior execs confirmed to be out at BlackBerry (ZDNet)
According to Wednesday’s report, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) told CBS that it is in the “second phase of our transformation plan,” while confirming the following three executives are out the door: Doug Kozak, vice president of corporate information technology operations; Carmine Arabia, senior vice president of global manufacturing and supply chain; and Graeme Whittington, vice president of service operations. Despite a huge media blitz around BlackBerry 10 smartphones led by CEO Thorsten Heins, turnaround at the Waterloo, Ont.-based corporation has not come easily — or arguably at all. For one, BlackBerry’s first quarter earnings report published in June following the BB10 launch disappointed.

Facebook for BlackBerry 10 finally gets Chat (NDTV)
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has updated the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) app for BlackBerry 10 smartphones bringing features like Facebook chat to the platform. The chat feature was previously missing from the Facebook for BlackBerry app, while it was available on other platforms including on Android and iOS. According to a blog post by BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), the new update (version 10.2.1) allows users to see the online status of their friends, start a chat message, send photos in chat messages, and see when messages are delivered and read. Users will also be able to see when a friend is typing a message, search within their chat list to find friends and groups, and edit list of their favourite chat friends.

BlackBerry falls to 4th place in global smartphone race: IDC (Globe and Mail)
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s comeback plan may be under pressure as the latest report on worldwide smartphone market share shows it slipping to fourth place behind Windows Phone. New numbers from International Data Corporation (IDC) suggest the Waterloo, Ont., firm sold 6.8 million handsets in the second quarter of 2013, good for 2.9 per cent of the market. That’s an 11.7 per cent decline from the same quarter in 2012 when it sold 7.7 million handsets and held 4.9 per cent of the market.

BlackBerry shares offer something for free (Financial Post)
Just like smartphone subscribers that sign long-term service plans to get a free phone, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) investors are getting something for free. In this case, it’s the company’s enterprise software and services business, QNX, the device business, and a promising machine-to-machine (M2M) business. According to Scotiabank analyst Gus Papageorgiou, BlackBerry has $5.90 per share in net cash and patents that are worth another $4.26 per share. With the stock trading below $10 per share, he noted that leaves that company’s other businesses and opportunities valued at zero.

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