The company, overall, reported a net loss of $89 million — an improvement form the $148 million the company lost in the same period last year.
Despite that, investors saw much to be optimistic. BlackBerry is, truly, working on becoming more of a software company, trading on its still-sterling reputation for being security conscious. BlackBerry has worked to put its device management software on competitors phones, broadening its reach and reduce its reliance on breaking into a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Samsung. The company reported that it made $162 million in revenue on software and services, an increase of 183 percent from the same period last year.
It hasn't totally given up the ghost on smartphones either, having released its first Android-based handset, the Priv, in November. As its name suggests, the company is aiming this phone at consumers who put privacy high on their priority list when looking at smartphones.
BlackBerry sold 700,000 units of the Priv in the past three months, a 100,000 decline from the same period last year. But at $699, the device helped generate more revenue for the company and brought the hardware division closer to breaking even with revenue of $214 million.
In an interview on CNBC, Chen said he thinks "the direction of our software business is really good. We really want to build out our software business."
He added that he will make an announcement at a major consumer electronics conference next month about the company's plans to push into connected-car technology.
This week, Chen also spoke out against tech companies for refusing to grant the authorities access to the devices of their customers even when the police have warrants. While he was not specific about company names, his blog post linked to a story about Apple declining police requests for information on the mobile devices of criminals.
“We are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good,” Chen wrote in a blog post titled “The Encryption Debate: a Way Forward.” “We understand, arguably more than any other large tech company, the importance of our privacy commitment to product success and brand value: privacy and security form the crux of everything we do. However, our privacy commitment does not extend to criminals.”
He added, however, that Blackberry would never give the authorities "back-door" access to Blackberry devices.