Chris Lau
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Chris Lau in Value Stocks,

​BlackBerry Spikes on DTEK50

Treated as a value trap after the U.S. Senate decided it would dump BlackBerry (BBRY) devices, the stock made a come-back after releasing a budget, secure Android.

 This is a big, positive development for the company. Despite software sales driving long-term revenue growth, the company realizes it cannot grow software sales unless it stays in the devices market.


Interest for the unusually named “DTEK50” soared on the internet. Positive mentions outweighed negative ones. In the last week, BlackBerry’s DTEK had only one negative day of sentiment. Given the consensus view for BlackBerry is that it will never recover from falling smartphone sales, this shift is significant.

Priced at just US $299, the 5.2-inch budget phone fares well with competitors, notably Motorola’s Moto G4. Early adapters even get a bonus mobile power charger (pre-order customers ONLY). When consumers realize nearly all Android devices are hackable, they are getting a good deal. They are paying almost nothing for the “DTEK50” secure app at both the root and app level.

Specifications - selfie friendly:

BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 2610 mAh battery

Stand-by Up to 576 h (3G)

Talk time Up to 17 h (3G)

Music play Up to 40 h

Chipset Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617

CPU Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53

GPU Adreno 405

MEMORY Card slotmicroSD, up to 256 GB

Internal 16 GB, 3 GB RAM

CAMERA Primary13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash

Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama


Secondary 8 MP, f/2.2, 1080p

Does BlackBerry make nothing from DTEK50?

The company said last quarter it significantly lowered its cost exposure for the hardware. This implies the company will make very little in profits for each unit sale. Profit margin, however, will jump. In effect, DTEK50’s unusual name markets the security layer. The hardware manufacturer likely makes all the profits from the device sales, but BlackBerry gets “DTEK50” branding and marketing from it.

Where’s the Keyboard?

DTEK50 will include the infamously productive HUB and powerful keyboard. Anyone using an Apple or Android will love the keyboard software, but business users will want more. BlackBerry said a keyboard-based device is on the way.

It is still bewildering that the company has not yet refreshed the Passport so it runs on Android. The BBOS10 Passport at a significant discount already. Having the device run on Android would boost sales. Similarly, BlackBerry is slow in cutting Priv prices and releasing a mainstream version of the premium device.