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TheStreet Open House

BlackBerry Begs for More Time

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I was recently accused of being too hard on beleaguered tech giant BlackBerry (BBRY) following the company's disastrous first-quarter earnings results, which sent its stock plummeting more than 27%.

If the results weren't bad enough, management also figured it was a good idea to change how the company reports important performance details such as unit shipments and subscriber totals for its high-margin services business.

So, with declining performance coinciding with management's new stance on disclosure and transparency, investors need to ask a very important question, what is there left in BlackBerry?

In fact, the only good to have come out of BlackBerry's recent earnings results is that Wall Street has become more realistic about this company's recovery potential and the pace at which it will happen.

BlackBerry has its own pace, however. On Tuesday, at the company's annual shareholder meeting, the company's CEO, Thorsten Heins, asked investors for more time -- suggesting that the company is in the "second phase" of a three-stage plan to restore BlackBerry back to health. He said that the first phase involved cutting costs and streamlining operations. The second phase is what the company is now in, which includes rolling out BlackBerry 10 and pushing out new devices.

In the same breath, though, Heins admitted that he underestimated the competition and how fierce was the smartphone market. I can't say that investors will be inspired to learn that the company's CEO grossly miscalculated the strength of the leaders of its core market , namely Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG).

Along similar lines, it was also clear that BlackBerry didn't fully appreciate the challenges involved in getting carriers like AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) onboard with the company's strategy. BlackBerry believed "If you build it, they will sell." The carriers, meanwhile, only had an interest in selling what already sells well. These were Apple and Android devices.

Remarkably, though, Heins vehemently defended the notion that the launch of BB10 was a "disaster," as an investor suggested during the question and answer session of the meeting. Heins responded saying that "there were many lessons learned," including fighting to get carriers to give shelf space to BB10 devices, but he was adamant about the launch not being a disaster.

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