BlackBerry this morning reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2013, which officially wrapped up on March 2. At the end of the three-month period, the company formerly known as RIM reports that it had shipped six million smartphones, including one million BlackBerry 10 devices. That's a bit less than the number reported at the end of its fiscal Q3 2013, which was 6.9 million units shipped. Shipments of the PlayBook tablet finished the quarter at 370,000. BlackBerry wrapped up its fiscal 2013 year with a subscriber base of 76 million users, a drop from the 79 million users it had at the end of Q3 2013.
On the financial side of things, BlackBerry says that it earned $2.7 billion in revenue in Q4 2013 along with a GAAP income of $94 million. The company believes that it'll get close to breaking even with its results in the next quarter because of its lower cost base, more efficient supply chain and improved hardware margins. Also playing a role in that estimate is BlackBerry's estimated marketing spending for the upcoming quarter, which it expects will see a 50 percent sequential increase.
The final tidbit of big news from BlackBerry's announcement this morning relates to former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. After founding BlackBerry nearly 30 years ago and serving as co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie, Lazaridis left his position as one of the two heads of the company and was replaced by current CEO Thorsten Heins in January 2012. Lazaridis was named vice chairman of the board at that time, but BlackBerry today announced that he will be retiring from that position, with plans to leave the Blackberry board on May 1.
It looks like the final quarter of BlackBerry's fiscal 2013 was a bit of a mixed bag. The company took a bit of a hit in terms of overall smartphone shipments and its subscriber base, but its PlayBook shipments grew from the previous quarter, and it also managed a steady revenue of $2.7 billion and a GAAP income of $94 million. It's worth noting that the BlackBerry Z10 was only available during most of February in select countries like Canada and the U.K., so the shipments figure announced today by the company doesn't include any shipments from places like the U.S. Those stats will be shared at the end of BlackBerry's Q1 2014 report, which I'm sure many folks will be looking forward to since it'll provide us with a better idea of the Z10's performance in the market.
BlackBerry is holding a conference call at 7 a.m. EDT to discuss its fiscal Q4 2013 results. As usual, you can bet that we'll be listening in, and we'll report back with any other juicy tidbits of information that Thorsten and Co. may have to share. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said during the call that the Z10's U.S. launch is meeting his company's expectations. Looking forward, Heins said that the keyboard-equipped Q10 is currently in testing with 40 carriers in 20 countries, adding that the device is still on track to begin hitting store shelves in April.
UPDATE 2: In response to a question about mid-range BlackBerry 10 hardware, CEO Thorsten Heins says that he expects to launch a mid-range BB10 handset in "various markets" around the middle of the company's fiscal year.