News: Software and services revenue for the full year topped $500 million for the first time.
BlackBerry is expanding its software offerings and may become a software-only company as the company’s hardware sales continue to disappoint.
The new BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) release on iOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones adds a range of new features to enhance privacy and control.
Above all, it aims to boost the functionality of the messenger service, with the ability to forward messages between chats.
There are shades of Facebook-owned consumer chat app WhatsApp in some of the new additions, including the ability to mute notifications for multi-person chats and scroll through all pictures taken within BBM chats saved to the device.
It also allows users to retract and edit messages on BlackBerry 10.
March saw another software release, BlackBerry Radar, which aims to cut operational costs in the trucking industry.
The cross-platform software releases underscore the overall strategic direction of the company, which is trying to wean itself off hardware sales and expand its software and services revenue.
The company saw a net loss in Q4 of $487 million, with revenues down 30 percent to $487 million.
While hardware revenues continued to fall, BlackBerry won 10,000 new enterprise customers and topped its target of $500 million in software and service sales for the year.
Revenue in this division grew to $527 million, up 113 percent over FY15. Approximately 70 percent of this Q4 software revenue was recurring.
The non-GAAP revenue breakdown for the quarter was roughly 32 percent for software and services, 29 percent for service access fees (SAF), and 39 percent for hardware and other revenue.
"We grew software faster than the market and beat our targets," Chen said. "Overall, BlackBerry’s Q4 performance was solid as we made progress on the key elements of our strategy, which are to grow software faster than the mobility software market, achieve device profitability and generate positive free cash flow."
However, this is not wholly organic growth, since during this period BlackBerry acquired and absorbed software firms such as Good Technology, WatchDox and AtHoc.
In the wake of the Q4 results, CEO John Chen suggested to CNBC that the company would "seriously considering" moving to software only if hardware does not pick up.
In September 2015 he said that he wanted to make the company profitable within a year.
The company also hopes that offering cyber security consultancy services will boost revenue over the next year, including the new practice based heavily around the recent acquisition of UK-based Encription.