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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 ________________________
FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021

OR

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from     to

Commission file number 001-38232
 ______________________________________________________
BlackBerry Limited
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Canada
98-0164408
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
2200 University Ave East
WaterlooOntarioCanada
N2K 0A7
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
(Zip Code)
(519) 888-7465
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common SharesBBNew York Stock Exchange
Common SharesBBToronto Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes o No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports); and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  o 





Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes  x   No  o 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
x
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer  
o
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
                
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.
o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).     Yes ☐   No  x

The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on August 31, 2020, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, based on the closing price of the common shares as reported by the New York Stock Exchange, was approximately $2.9 billion. The registrant had 565,542,886 shares of common shares issued and outstanding as of March 26, 2021.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s proxy statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the registrant’s fiscal year ended February 28, 2021.
 






BLACKBERRY LIMITED
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page No.
PART I
Item 1Business
Item 1ARisk Factors
Item 1BUnresolved Staff Comments
Item 2Properties
Item 3Legal Proceedings
Item 4Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
Item 5Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6Selected Financial Data
Item 7Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation
Item 7AQuantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk
Item 8Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9AControls and Procedures
Item 9BOther Information
Part III
Item 10Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11Executive Compensation
Item 12Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14Principal Accounting Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15Exhibit and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16Form 10-K Summary
Signatures

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Unless the context otherwise requires, all references to the “Company” and “BlackBerry” include BlackBerry Limited and its subsidiaries.

PART I
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
The Company
The Company provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. The Company secures more than 500 million endpoints including more than 175 million cars on the road today. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the Company leverages artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety and data privacy, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint security, endpoint management, encryption, and embedded systems.
The Company was incorporated under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) (“OBCA”) on March 7, 1984 and commenced operations at that time. The Company has amalgamated with several of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, the last amalgamation occurring through the filing of articles of amalgamation under the OBCA on November 4, 2013. The Company’s common shares trade under the ticker symbol “BB” on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”).
Intercorporate Relationships
The Company has three material subsidiaries, all of which are wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, by the Company in each case as at February 28, 2021.

Name of SubsidiaryJurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization
BlackBerry CorporationDelaware, U.S.A.
BlackBerry UK LimitedEngland and Wales
Cylance Inc.Delaware, U.S.A.
Internet of Things Security Software Industry
As the digital transformation of enterprises continues to advance, workforces are becoming more distributed and mobile, and data and applications are increasingly migrating to the cloud. As part of this trend, the number of connected endpoints is growing rapidly, as is their complexity and the volume of sensitive data that they process and store. These endpoints, which include smartphones, laptops, desktops, servers, vehicles, industrial equipment and other connected devices in the Internet of Things (“IoT”), increasingly operate beyond the traditional network security perimeter and present an expanding attack surface to cyber adversaries. During fiscal 2020, the decentralization of the enterprise was accelerated by the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which prompted many organizations to pivot to substantially remote and mobile work models.
At the same time, the threat environment for enterprises has become increasingly hostile as the number of adversaries grows and the scale and sophistication of their attacks, increasingly focused on the endpoint, continue to develop. Today’s malicious actors are often well-trained and well-funded criminal organizations, state-sponsored agents and international hacking collectives with the capability of employing advanced techniques to penetrate endpoints and encrypt, destroy or exfiltrate data. These groups have been responsible for highly publicized breaches that have exposed personal information and intellectual property, disrupted operations and caused significant financial and reputational damage to organizations across a broad range of industries.
Against this backdrop, regulators are enacting new measures to ensure that enterprises are held accountable for their management of cybersecurity risk. In particular, changes to data privacy laws in the United States, Europe and other jurisdictions are compounding the challenges faced by organizations by increasing their responsibilities for securing their data as well as that of their customers.
This landscape of growing vulnerability and accountability has created opportunities for secure communications platforms, endpoint cybersecurity and management solutions, embedded systems, enterprise applications, analytic tools and related services that help enterprises to secure their connected endpoints, enhance data privacy and demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations.
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Strategy
The Company is widely recognized for its intelligent security software and services and believes that it delivers the broadest set of security capabilities in the market to connect, protect and manage IoT endpoints. The Company leverages its extensive technology portfolio to offer best-in-class cybersecurity, safety and reliability to enterprise customers in government, regulated industries and other core verticals.
The Company’s goal is to offer smarter security solutions that are more effective, require fewer resources to support and produce a better return on investment for customers than competing offerings. To achieve this vision, the Company continues to extend the functionality of its AI-focused BlackBerry Spark® software platform through organic investments and strategic acquisitions and partnerships.
The Company’s go-to-market strategy focuses principally on generating revenue from enterprise software, services and licensing. The Company intends to drive revenue growth and to achieve margins that are consistent with those of other enterprise software companies.
Products and Services
The Company is organized and managed as one operating segment. The Company has multiple products and services from which it derives revenue, which are structured in two groups: Software and Services, and Licensing and Other. Software and Services consists of the Company’s BlackBerry Spark software platform business and BlackBerry IoT Solutions business. Licensing and Other consists primarily of the Company’s patent licensing business and service access fees (“SAF”).
Software and Services
BlackBerry Spark
The Company’s core secure software and services offering is its BlackBerry Spark software platform, which integrates a unified endpoint security (“UES”) layer with BlackBerry unified endpoint management (“UEM”) to enable secure endpoint communications in a zero trust environment. BlackBerry UES is a set of complementary cybersecurity products offering endpoint protection platform (“EPP”), endpoint detection and response (“EDR”), mobile threat defense (“MTD”), and user and entity behavior analytics (“UEBA”) capabilities. The BlackBerry Spark platform is informed by the Company’s AI and machine learning capabilities, continuous innovations, professional cybersecurity services, industry partnerships and academic collaborations. The Company is currently executing on a robust schedule of product launches for BlackBerry Spark to deliver a comprehensive security approach operating on a single agent across all endpoints, administered from a single console, leveraging a single crowd-sourced threat data repository and managed in one cloud environment. BlackBerry Spark solutions are available through the BlackBerry Spark® Unified Endpoint Security Suite and the BlackBerry Spark® Unified Endpoint Management Suite, which are also marketed together as the BlackBerry Spark® Suites, offering the Company’s most comprehensive range of tailored cybersecurity and endpoint management options.
The BlackBerry Spark UES Suite offers leading Cylance® AI and machine learning-based cybersecurity solutions, including: BlackBerry® Protect, an EPP and available MTD solution that uses machine learning to prevent suspicious behavior and the execution of malicious code on an endpoint; BlackBerry® Optics, an EDR solution that provides both visibility into and prevention of malicious activity on an endpoint; BlackBerry® Guard, a managed detection and response solution that provides 24/7 threat hunting and monitoring; and BlackBerry® Persona, a UEBA solution that provides continuous authentication by validating user identity in real time. The combined platform features industry-leading threat prevention modules to help organizations cope with the significant growth of cyberattacks. The Company also offers incident response, compromised assessment and containment services to assist clients with forensic analysis, state of existing systems and remediation of attacks.
In addition, the Company offers the BlackBerry Cyber Suite, a UEM-agnostic version of its BlackBerry Spark® UES Suite which organizations will be able to integrate with UEM software from other leading vendors.
The BlackBerry Spark UEM Suite includes the Company’s BlackBerry® UEM, BlackBerry® Dynamics™ and BlackBerry® Workspaces solutions. BlackBerry UEM is a central software component of the Company’s secure communications platform, offering a “single pane of glass”, or unified console view, for managing and securing devices, applications, identity, content and endpoints across all leading operating systems. BlackBerry Dynamics offers a best-in-class development platform and secure container for mobile applications, including the Company’s own enterprise applications such as BlackBerry® Work and BlackBerry® Connect for secure collaboration.
The Company also offers the BlackBerry® Spark SDK to promote the evolution of a platform ecosystem by enabling enterprise and independent software vendor (“ISV”) developers to integrate the security features of BlackBerry Spark into their own mobile and web applications.
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BlackBerry IoT Solutions
The BlackBerry IoT Solutions business consists of BlackBerry Technology Solutions (“BTS”) and Secure Communications.
BlackBerry Technology Solutions
The principal component of BTS is BlackBerry QNX, a global provider of real-time operating systems, middleware, development tools, and professional services for connected embedded systems in the automotive, medical, industrial automation and other markets. A recognized leader in automotive software, BlackBerry QNX offers a growing portfolio of safety-certified, secure and reliable platform solutions and is focused on achieving design wins with automotive original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), Tier 1 vendors and automotive semiconductor suppliers. These solutions include the Neutrino® operating system and the BlackBerry QNX® CAR platform, the most advanced embedded software platform for the autonomous vehicle market, as well as other products designed to alleviate the challenges of compliance with ISO 26262, the automotive industry’s functional safety standard. Additionally, the Company’s secure automotive over-the-air software update management service allows OEMs to manage the life cycle of the software and security in their vehicles.
The Company recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (“AWS”) to develop and market BlackBerry IVY™, an intelligent vehicle data platform leveraging BlackBerry QNX’s automotive capabilities. BlackBerry IVY will allow automakers to safely access a vehicle’s sensor data, normalize it, and apply machine learning to generate and share predictive insights and inferences. Automakers and developers will be able to use this information to create responsive in-vehicle services that enhance driver and passenger experiences. BlackBerry IVY will support multiple vehicle operating systems and multi-cloud deployments in order to ensure compatibility across vehicle models and brands. The Company expects to release an early access version of BlackBerry IVY in October 2021, followed by a commercial release in February 2022 with installations of BlackBerry IVY to begin in 2023 model year vehicles.
BlackBerry QNX is also a preferred supplier of embedded systems for companies building medical devices, train-control systems, industrial robots, hardware security modules, building automation systems, green energy solutions, and other mission-critical applications.
In addition to BlackBerry QNX, BTS includes BlackBerry Certicom® cryptography and key management products and the BlackBerry Radar® asset monitoring solution.
BlackBerry Certicom leverages patented elliptic curve cryptography to provide device security, anti-counterfeiting and product authentication solutions. BlackBerry Certicom’s offerings include its managed public key infrastructure (“PKI”) platform, key management and provisioning technology that helps customers to protect the integrity of their silicon chips and devices from the point of manufacturing through the device life cycle. BlackBerry Certicom’s secure key provisioning, code signing and security credential management system services protect next-generation connected cars, critical infrastructure and IoT deployments from product counterfeiting, re-manufacturing and unauthorized network access.
BlackBerry Radar is a family of asset monitoring and telematics solutions for the transportation and logistics industry. The BlackBerry Radar solution includes devices and secure cloud-based dashboards for tracking containers, trailers, chassis, flatbeds and heavy machinery, for reporting locations and sensor data, and for enabling custom alerts and fleet management analytics.
BTS solutions also include BlackBerry Jarvis™, a cloud-based binary static application security testing platform that identifies vulnerabilities in deployed binary software used in automobiles and other embedded applications, and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM®) Enterprise, an enterprise-grade secure instant messaging solution for messaging, voice and video.
Secure Communications
Secure Communications consists of BlackBerry® AtHoc®, BlackBerry® Alert and SecuSUITE.
BlackBerry AtHoc and BlackBerry Alert are secure critical event management solutions that enable people, devices and organizations to exchange critical information in real time during business continuity and life safety operations. The platforms securely connect with a diverse set of endpoints to distribute emergency mass notifications, improve personnel accountability and facilitate the bidirectional collection and sharing of data within and between organizations. BlackBerry AtHoc serves the requirements of the public sector market while BlackBerry Alert targets the commercial sector.
SecuSUITE® for Government is a certified, multi-OS voice and text messaging solution with advanced encryption, anti-eavesdropping and continuous authentication capabilities, providing a maximum level of security on conventional mobile devices for public authorities and businesses.
The BlackBerry Spark and BlackBerry IoT Solutions groups are both complemented by the enterprise and cybersecurity consulting services offered by the Company’s BlackBerry® Professional Services business. BlackBerry Professional Services provides platform-agnostic strategies to address mobility-based challenges, providing expert deployment support, end-to-end delivery (from system design to user training), application consulting, and experienced project management. The Company’s
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cybersecurity consulting services and tools, combined with its other security solutions, help customers identify the latest cybersecurity threats, test for vulnerabilities, develop risk-appropriate mitigations, maintain IT security standards and techniques, and defend against the risk of future attacks.
Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, the Company intends to describe the Software and Services group as consisting of the Company’s Cyber Security business and the BTS business. Cyber Security will consist of BlackBerry Spark together with BlackBerry AtHoc, BlackBerry Alert and SecuSUITE, and the BlackBerry IoT Solutions and Secure Communications nomenclature will no longer apply or be used.
Licensing and Other
The Company’s Licensing business is responsible for the management and monetization of the Company’s global patent portfolio. The patent portfolio continues to provide a competitive advantage in the Company’s core product areas as well as providing leverage in the development of future technologies and licensing programs in both core and adjacent vertical markets. The Company owns rights to an array of patented and patent pending technologies which include, but are not limited to, operating systems, networking infrastructure, acoustics, messaging, enterprise software, automotive subsystems, cybersecurity, cryptography and wireless communications. As of February 28, 2021, the Company owned approximately 38,000 worldwide patents and applications.
In fiscal 2018, the Company entered into a strategic licensing agreement with Teletry under which Teletry may sublicense a broad range of the Company’s patents to a majority of global smartphone manufacturers. The Company also continues to operate its own licensing program outside of Teletry’s sublicensing rights and intends to increase recurring revenue from this program. The Company's technology licensing revenue from Teletry represented approximately 22% of the Company's net sales in fiscal 2021.
In addition, in recent years, the Company has licensed its device security software and service suite and related brand assets to outsourcing partners who design, manufacture, market and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded handsets featuring the Company’s secure Android™ software. The Company also entered into licensing arrangements with manufacturers of other devices with embedded BlackBerry cybersecurity technology.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, the Company entered into exclusive negotiations with a North American entity for the potential sale of a portion of the patent portfolio relating primarily to non-core or legacy mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking technologies. The Company expects to retain rights to use these patents if a transaction is completed and does not intend to sell patents associated with the Company’s current Software and Services business. Negotiations are ongoing and there can be no assurance that the Company will reach a definitive agreement or that a transaction will be consummated.
The Company’s Other business generates revenue from SAF charged to subscribers using the Company’s legacy BlackBerry 7 and prior BlackBerry operating systems.
Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Customers
The Company primarily generates revenue from the licensing of enterprise software and sales of associated services, including its endpoint management and cybersecurity solutions, BlackBerry QNX software for the embedded market, technology licensing and professional consulting services. The Company focuses on strategic industries with vertical-specific use cases, including regulated enterprise markets such as financial services, government, healthcare, professional services and transportation, and other markets where embedded software and critical infrastructure are important, such as utilities, mining and manufacturing.
The Company licenses the BlackBerry Spark platform, including its individual components and complementary third-party applications, through a geographically-dispersed direct sales force, value-added resellers, managed security service providers and alliance partners. The Company continues to build its global BlackBerry Partner Program for resellers and distributors to bolster its direct sales and marketing efforts.
The Company also licenses its enterprise software and services through global wireless communications carriers, which are able to bill separately for BlackBerry UEM services, and other distribution partners around the world.
The Company licenses BlackBerry QNX and BlackBerry Certicom technology and provides professional engineering services to OEM customers in the automotive, mobile and other embedded software markets via a direct sales force and indirectly through channel partnerships. The licenses are primarily monetized as royalties on units shipped and through project development seats, tools and maintenance fees.
The Company markets and sells its BlackBerry Radar secure asset monitoring products and services to enterprise users through its internal sales force as well as through third party distribution channels.
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Competitive Strengths
Key competitive factors important to the Company across its businesses include product features (including security features), relative price and performance, product quality and reliability, compatibility across ecosystems, service and support, and corporate reputation. The Company believes that it delivers the broadest set of security capabilities and visibility in the market, covering users, devices, networks, apps and data.
BlackBerry Spark
The BlackBerry Spark platform establishes the most complete security controls in any connected IoT environment and meets a growing market demand for a comprehensive solution that integrates unified endpoint security and endpoint management capabilities in a single console with visibility across all endpoints. The platform is differentiated through its use of a zero-trust architecture that uniquely combines intelligent security with a user experience that requires little to no support from end users or IT administrators, simplifying management and reducing costs.
The BlackBerry Cyber Suite leverages Cylance AI, machine learning and automation to provide improved cyber threat prevention and remediation, and can help users to understand risks, make contextual decisions and dynamically apply policy controls with no user interruption, mitigating risks before they materialize. The Company trains its AI model against data lakes containing billions of files so that it learns to autonomously convict, or not convict, files prior to their execution. Unlike traditional signature-based cybersecurity technology, this prevention-oriented approach is able to protect enterprises from malicious zero-day payloads before they are deployed, and even when protected endpoints are offline. Additionally, detection and response decisions are pushed down to the endpoint, minimizing response latency so that a minor security event can be addressed before it becomes a widespread incident. BlackBerry Protect has earned Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (“FedRAMP”) authorization.
The BlackBerry Spark UEM Suite includes leading unified endpoint management, secure business productivity, application containerization, secure collaboration and digital rights management capabilities. BlackBerry UEM has earned National Information Assurance Partnership (“NIAP”) certification and is the only mobile device management solution on the U.S. Department of Defense Information Network’s Approved Product List. The Company also provides a full development solution for the creation and retrofitting of apps for use in a container and offers an extensive library of secure enterprise applications.
The inclusion of a sophisticated network operations center in the BlackBerry infrastructure is also a key differentiator. The Company pioneered the use of this architecture to route messages reliably and efficiently to and from mobile devices, and over time has expanded capabilities to enable end-to-end secure communications between endpoints and applications and enterprise networks.
BlackBerry IoT Solutions
In the embedded software industry, systems are becoming increasingly connected and complex, with software being used for functions that were previously performed by hardware, driving new functional safety considerations. BlackBerry QNX is recognized for attaining the highest levels of security certifications and approvals for many of its embedded products and is the leader in safety-certified, secure and reliable software for the automotive industry. BlackBerry QNX is a trusted supplier of operating systems, hypervisors, development tools and support to automotive OEMs and Tier 1 vendors and to the general embedded market. BlackBerry QNX technology is embedded in over 175 million cars.
The BlackBerry AtHoc and BlackBerry Alert platforms are mobile and scalable, integrate with legacy systems and support on-premise and cloud-based deployments. With available incident management and encrypted end-to-end instant messaging capabilities, the platforms offer a suite of secure crisis communication services to meet the growing number of use cases for emergency or mass notifications. BlackBerry AtHoc has received FedRAMP certification and is the leading provider of network-centric, interactive crisis communication to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, among other governmental bodies. BlackBerry AtHoc helps to protect more than 70% of U.S. government personnel.
The Company’s SecuSUITE technology has been certified to be compliant with the Common Criteria protection profile for VoIP applications and SIP servers. It has also earned NIAP certification and has been placed on the National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Program component list of products certified for use on classified systems.
Competition
The Company is engaged in markets that are highly competitive and rapidly evolving. Frequent new product introductions and changes to endpoints, operating systems, applications, security threats, industry standards and the overall technology landscape result in continuously evolving customer requirements for mobile solutions. The Company competes with a broad range of vendors in each of its businesses. See “Competitive Strengths” above for a discussion of how the Company believes it differentiates itself from competitors in its various businesses.
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With the BlackBerry UEM Suite, the Company competes primarily with providers of enterprise software solutions. BlackBerry’s UES Technology, including the BlackBerry Cyber Suite, competes with various types of providers, including: traditional signature-based antivirus vendors and identity management; vendors whose business focuses almost solely on EPP; EDR vendors, which primarily focus on continuous monitoring and human response to advanced security threats; companies that provide endpoint systems management; and large network security providers, which have entered the market primarily through acquisition. The Company’s BlackBerry QNX automotive business competes principally with providers of embedded software that employ customized Linux open-source operating systems for the transportation and logistics industry, and with Google’s Android Automotive OS. See Part 1, Item 1A “Risk Factors - The Company faces intense competition”.
Product Design, Engineering and Research and Development
The Company’s research and development (“R&D”) strategy seeks to provide broad market applications for products derived from its technology base.
The Company dedicates a major portion of its R&D investments to the development of software products and services for the BlackBerry Spark platform and BlackBerry IoT solutions that meet the needs of both enterprise IT departments and end users. Solutions include leading security capabilities at each level of the platform in order to address the needs of customers for securing devices, applications, content and work data at rest and in transit.
The Company makes significant investments to support its cybersecurity solutions and is committed to hiring and retaining top data scientists and engineers in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning. R&D investments at BlackBerry QNX are increasingly focused on software innovations for autonomous and connected vehicles.
The Company’s investment in longer term research is, in part, supported by taking advantage of specific government financial assistance programs where available. For example, the Company participates in the Strategic Innovation Fund program of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. For additional information, see Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Third Party Software Developers
The Company offers the BlackBerry Development Platform, an enterprise-grade toolset which enables application developers and ISVs to build secure, powerful and customized solutions for almost every use case and to commercialize them on the BlackBerry® Marketplace for Enterprise Software, which contains over 130 enterprise applications and solutions. The platform includes the BlackBerry Dynamics software development kit (“SDK”), which allows developers to integrate BlackBerry security into their enterprise applications, resulting in a managed application where corporate data is protected. The platform also includes SDKs for BlackBerry UEM, BlackBerry Workspaces, BlackBerry AtHoc and other products.
The primary development platform for BlackBerry QNX-based systems is the QNX® Software Development Platform (SDP), which includes the QNX Neutrino Realtime Operating System and the QNX Momentics® Tool Suite. The QNX SDP is complemented by QNX® Hypervisor, QNX® OS for Safety, QNX® Hypervisor for Safety, QNX® Acoustics Management Platform and QNX® Platform for Digital Cockpits and other products.
To support BlackBerry UES products, the Company offers the BlackBerry Endpoint ISV Technology Integration program featuring an application programming interface (“API”) development platform that enables developers and ISVs to develop robust extensible security integrations for BlackBerry UES, creating results-based offerings for targeted use cases. Completed integrations are shared with the user community and promoted to market partners and AWS Marketplace opportunities.
During fiscal 2021, the Company launched the beta program for its Spark SDK, a new in-app protection solution powered by the Company’s enterprise security assessment framework. The Spark SDK enables mobile app developers to enhance their iOS and Android applications with a rich set of security capabilities to prevent device, application or user level attacks. The Company also expanded its developer partner program with the introduction of the BlackBerry AtHoc Development Partner Program, which invites partners to integrate with the BlackBerry AtHoc service and allows them to create alerts based on more event types or to leverage alerting capabilities based on critical events from within other systems.
The Company also offers BlackBerry® Spark Communications Services to application developers to integrate the secure messaging, voice and video capabilities of BBM Enterprise into their applications and services.
Intellectual Property
The protection of intellectual property is an important part of the Company’s operations. The policy of the Company is to apply for patents, acquire and/or seek other appropriate proprietary or statutory protection when it develops valuable new or improved technology. The Company believes that the rapid pace of technological change in the industries in which the Company operates makes patent and trade secret protection important, and that this protection must be supported by other means including the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, new product introductions and frequent product enhancements.
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The Company believes that its patent portfolio continues to provide a competitive advantage in its core product areas as well as provide leverage in the development of future technologies. The Company does not believe that it is dependent upon a single patent or even a few patents and instead primarily depends upon its extensive know-how, innovative culture, and technical leadership.
The Company protects its technology through a combination of patents, designs, copyrights, trade secrets, confidentiality procedures and contractual arrangements. The Company seeks to patent key concepts, components, protocols, processes and other inventions that it considers to have commercial value or that will likely give the Company a technological advantage. Although the Company applies for patent protection primarily in Canada, Europe and the United States, the Company has filed, and will continue to file, patent applications in other countries where there exists a strategic technological or business reason to do so. To broadly protect the Company’s inventions, the Company has a team of in-house patent attorneys and also consults with outside patent attorneys who interact with employees, review invention disclosures and prepare patent applications on a broad array of core technologies and competencies. As a result, the Company owns rights to an array of patented and patent pending technologies which include, but are not limited to, operating systems, networking infrastructure, acoustics, messaging, enterprise software, automotive subsystems, cybersecurity and wireless communications. As of February 28, 2021, the Company owned approximately 38,000 worldwide patents and applications.
It is the Company’s general practice to enter into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with its employees, consultants, contract manufacturers, customers, potential customers and others to attempt to limit access to, and distribution of, its proprietary information. In addition, the Company generally enters into agreements with employees that include an assignment to the Company of all intellectual property developed in the course of employment.
In fiscal 2018, the Company entered into a strategic licensing agreement with Teletry under which Teletry may sublicense a broad range of the Company’s patents to a majority of global smartphone manufacturers. The Company also continues to operate its own licensing program outside of Teletry’s sublicensing rights.
The Company does not rely primarily on patents or other intellectual property rights to protect or establish its market position; however, it is prepared to enforce its intellectual property rights in certain technologies when attempts to negotiate mutually agreeable licenses are not successful. The Company also enters into inbound licensing agreements related to technology and intellectual property rights, including agreements to obtain rights that may be necessary to produce and sell products.
Regulatory Environment
Foreign and domestic laws and regulations apply to many aspects of the Company’s business.
The Company collects and uses a wide variety of information for various purposes in its business, including to help ensure the integrity of its services and to provide features and functionality to customers. This aspect of the Company’s business is subject to a broad array of evolving privacy and data protection laws, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, the proposed Canadian Consumer Privacy Protection Act, regional privacy frameworks such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Privacy Framework, and national and state laws within the United States, including the California Privacy Rights Act. These laws impose strict operational requirements and can provide for significant penalties for non-compliance. Elements of these evolving laws and regulations, as well as their interpretation and enforcement, remain unclear and the Company may be required to modify its practices to comply with them in the future.
The Company is also subject to numerous international trade laws and regulations, including, without limitation, tariffs, trade sanctions, export controls and technology transfer restrictions, as well as anti-corruption legislation such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act.
Additionally, the Company is subject to domestic and international laws relating to environmental protection and the proliferation of hazardous substances. In parts of Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, the Company is obligated to comply with substance restrictions, packaging regulations, energy efficiency ratings and certain product take-back and recycling requirements, principally for the BlackBerry Radar business. The U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act also requires the Company to comply with certain due diligence and disclosure obligations with respect to the use of conflict minerals. Furthermore, the Company may be subject to a variety of local laws unknown to the Company in foreign jurisdictions where customers are located.
Any actual or perceived failure to comply with these requirements may result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses or registrations, loss of approved status, private litigation, regulatory or governmental investigations, administrative enforcement actions, sanctions, civil and criminal liability, and constraints on the Company’s operations. It is also possible that current or future laws or regulations could be interpreted or applied in a manner that would prohibit, alter, or impair the Company’s existing or planned products and services, or that could require the Company to undertake costly, time-consuming or otherwise burdensome compliance measures.
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Corporate Responsibility
The Company observes the highest ethical standards in its operations and has adopted policies and practices that require the same of its business partners. The Company’s business is based on trust, and the Company maintains its position as a global leader in data security and privacy by developing new technologies, complying with established and evolving regulatory frameworks, acting with integrity and adhering to responsible business practices. See also “Ethical Business Conduct and Code of Business Standards and Principles” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The Company is committed to operating in a sustainable way that respects the environment, the Company’s employees and business partners, and the communities in which the Company operates around the world. To honor this commitment, the Company maintains a variety of programs to identify, execute and maintain sustainable initiatives and to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout the product lifecycle. In fiscal 2020, the Company joined the United Nations Global Compact (“UNGC”) and committed to the ten principles of the UNGC and to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are relevant to the Company’s business. In its procurement activities, the Company engages with its suppliers to conduct due diligence into the source of the so-called “conflict minerals” (which currently include the minerals from which gold, tantalum, tin, and tungsten are derived) that are necessary to the functionality or production of the Company’s hardware products, principally for the BlackBerry Radar business. The Company also seeks to make a positive impact in the communities in which it operates by investing in strategic charitable partnerships, supporting charitable endeavours by employees, and building community relationships through local offices.
The Company has formalized a number of policies to reflect its commitment to responsible business practices, including a Privacy Policy, Supplier Code of Conduct, Human Rights Policy, Equal Employment Policy and Supplier Diversity Policy, and periodically issues a corporate responsibility report. Through the report, the Company provides visibility on its environmental, social and governance initiatives such as mitigating its corporate carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving water sanitation and fostering diversity. These documents and policies relating to the Company’s corporate responsibility initiatives can be viewed on the Company’s website at https://www.blackberry.com/us/en/company/corporate-responsibility and are not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Information about our Executive Officers
The Company made two executive officer appointments during fiscal 2021, naming Tom Eacobacci as President and Marjorie Dickman as Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer.
The following table sets forth the name, province or state, and country of residence of each executive officer of the Company and their respective positions and offices held with the Company and their principal occupations during the last five years.
Name and ResidenceCurrent Position with CompanyPrincipal Occupation During the Last Five Years (other than Current Position with Company)
John S. Chen
California, USA
Chief Executive Officer; Executive Chair/Director (since 2013)
Randall Cook
California, USA
Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
General Counsel, Calypso Technology (2017 to 2018)
Marjorie Dickman Washington D.C., USA
Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy OfficerGlobal Director and Associate General Counsel, IoT and Automated Driving Policy, Intel (2017-2020); Global Director and Managing Counsel, IoT and Automated Driving Policy, Intel (2015-2017)
Thomas Eacobacci Florida, USA
President
President, Americas, Citrix (2018-2020); VP Sales Strategy & Operations, Citrix (2014-2017)
Sai Yuen (Billy) Ho
California, USA
Executive Vice
President, Product Engineering, BlackBerry Spark
Steve Rai
Ontario, Canada
Chief Financial OfficerDeputy Chief Financial Officer (2019), Vice President and Corporate Controller (2014-2019)
Nita White-Ivy California, USA
Chief Human Resources Officer
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Mark Wilson
California, USA
Chief Marketing OfficerSenior Vice President, Marketing, BlackBerry Limited (2014 to 2017)
Human Capital
The Company’s 3,497 employees as of February 28, 2021 work as a team in 21 countries worldwide, of which approximately 51% are in Canada, 32% are in the U.S., and the remaining 17% are outside of North America.
The Company offers employees a fair, equitable and competitive total rewards program, designed to recognize and reward both individual and company performance. The Company provides a range of financial and benefit programs such as its employee share purchase program, employee recognition programs, retirement savings plans, family-friendly leave policies, health and wellness programs, employee and family assistance program, as well as corporate discounts, all designed to support the overall wellness of the Company’s employees and their families.
The Company embraces a diverse and inclusive workplace, providing a welcoming environment in which every individual is valued and respected, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, veteran status, disability status or any other protected element of diversity. The Company recognizes diversity, equity and inclusion as business imperatives and commits to attract, develop, and retain the best and brightest talent. The Company strives to maintain an environment where people are valued, have a sense of belonging, and feel they can bring their authentic selves to work, every day. The Company is committed to maintaining a respectful and productive work environment free from discrimination and harassment, supported by diversity and inclusion unconscious bias training, outreach and partnership programs like the Company’s Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Indigenous students awards programs, and development opportunities such as the Taking the Stage program for female and aspiring leaders. The Company does not tolerate, condone, or ignore workplace discrimination or harassment or any unlawful behavior and investigates all complaints regarding such conduct in a timely manner.
The Company believes career development is unique and personal for each employee. The Company offers career development and growth in many forms such as job shadowing, job rotation, stretch assignments, enhanced scope or responsibility, networking, lateral movement, promotions, and volunteering. The Company encourages opportunities for employees to broaden their scope and understanding of the business, and to build additional skills to attain their career aspirations. Employees are supported in their growth and development through the Company’s tuition and educational reimbursement programs, subsidies for professional association memberships, global mentorship program, career planning services, and various training programs.
The Company is honored that its determination to support smart, dedicated, creative employees who are driven to succeed has been recognized through numerous awards, including Best & Brightest Companies to Work For (2016 - 2020), Best & Brightest Companies in Wellness (2016 - 2020), Canada’s Top 100 Employers for Young People, Canada’s Top 100 Greenest Employers (2016 - 2020), among others. The Company also takes pride in its award-winning paid co-op and intern student program, through which the Company invests in the personal and professional development of the next generation of BlackBerry talent.
Building upon its culture of teamwork, the Company is a proud and committed civic leader. BlackBerry employees are passionate, mobilized and empowered by their involvement in corporate-run community initiatives to actively participate in volunteer activities and environmentally friendly initiatives where they live and work. Together with its team of community-minded employees, the Company believes there is great potential to make lasting local impacts.
Available Information
Our internet address is www.blackberry.com. Our website is included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as an inactive textual reference only. Information contained on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
As of March 1, 2020, the Company began reporting with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) as a domestic issuer instead of a foreign private issuer. Prior to that date, the Company was a foreign private issuer and, in compliance with SEC regulations, furnished its interim financial statements on Form 6-K and filed its Annual Report on Form 40-F. The Company continues to be a reporting issuer subject to continuous disclosure obligations under applicable Canadian securities laws.
Access to our Annual Reports on Form 10-K and 40-F, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and 6-K, Current Reports on Form 8-K, supplemental financial information, earnings press releases, and amendments to these reports filed with or furnished to the SEC may be obtained free of charge as soon as is reasonably practical after we electronically file or furnish them through the Investors section of our website at www.blackberry.com/ca/en/company/investors. In addition, our filings with the SEC may be accessed through the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and our filings with the Canadian Securities Administrators (“CSA”) may be accessed through the CSA’s System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (“SEDAR”) at www.sedar.com. Except for the documents specifically incorporated by reference into this Annual Report, information contained on the SEC or CSA
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websites is not incorporated by reference in the Annual Report on Form 10-K and should not be considered to be a part of the Annual Report. All statements made in any of our securities filings, including all forward-looking statements or information, are made as of the date of the document in which the statement is included, and we do not assume or undertake any obligation to update any of those statements or documents unless we are required to do so by applicable law.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
Investors in the Company’s securities should carefully consider the following risks, as well as the other information contained in MD&A (as defined below) and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K Form for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021. Any of the following risks, in whole or in part, could materially and adversely impact the Company’s business, financial condition and operating results. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones the Company faces. Additional risks and uncertainties, including those of which the Company is unaware or the Company currently deems immaterial, may also have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to the Company’s Business
The Company may not be able to enhance, develop, introduce or monetize products and services for the enterprise market in a timely manner with competitive pricing, features and performance.
The industries in which the Company competes are characterized by rapid technological change, frequent new product introductions, frequent market price reductions, constant improvements in features and short product life cycles. The Company’s future success depends upon its ability to enhance and integrate its current products and services, including the BlackBerry Spark platform, to provide for their compatibility with evolving industry standards and operating systems, to address competing technologies and products developed by other companies, and to continue to develop and introduce new products and services offering enhanced performance and functionality on a timely basis at competitive prices.
The process of developing new technology is complex and uncertain, and involves time, substantial costs and risks, which are further magnified when the development process involves multiple operating platforms. The development of next-generation technologies that utilize new and advanced features, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, involves making predictions regarding the willingness of the market to adopt such technologies over legacy solutions. The Company may be required to commit significant resources to developing new products, software and services before knowing whether such investment will result in products or services that the market will accept.
The Company’s inability, for technological or other reasons, some of which may be beyond the Company’s control, to enhance, develop, introduce and monetize products and services in a timely manner, or at all, in response to changing market conditions or customer requirements could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition or could result in its products and services not achieving market acceptance or becoming obsolete. In addition, if the Company fails to deliver a compelling customer experience or accurately predict emerging technological trends and the changing needs of customers and end users, or if the features of its new products and services do not meet the demands of its customers or are not sufficiently differentiated from those of its competitors, the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially harmed.
The Company may not be able to maintain or expand its customer base for its software and services offerings to grow revenue or achieve sustained profitability.
The Company has focused its strategy on software and services to grow revenue and generate sustainable profitability, including by commercializing the BlackBerry Spark platform.
For the Company to increase its software and services revenues, it must continually grow its customer base by attracting new customers or, in the case of existing customers, deploying software and services across more endpoints or attracting additional users in such existing customers’ businesses. The Company also needs to sell additional software and services over time to the same customers, or have customers upgrade their level of service. If the Company is unable to promote a compelling value proposition to customers and its efforts to sell or upsell software or services as described above are not successful, its results of operations could be materially impacted. Further, although recent attacks on prominent enterprises have increased market awareness of the importance of cybersecurity, if the general level of cyberattacks declines or customers perceive that it has declined, the Company’s ability to attract new customers and expand its sales to existing customers could be harmed.
Existing customers that purchase the Company’s software and services have no contractual obligation to renew their subscriptions or purchase additional solutions after the initial subscription or contract period. The Company’s customers’ expansion and renewal rates may decline or fluctuate as a result of a number of factors, including the perceived need for such additional software and services, the level of satisfaction with the Company’s software and services, features or functionality, the reliability of the Company’s software and services, the Company’s customer support, customer budgets and other competitive factors, such as pricing and competitors’ offerings. For smaller or simpler deployments, the switching costs and time are relatively minor compared to traditional enterprise software deployments and such a customer may more easily decide
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not to renew with the Company and switch to a competitor’s offerings. For larger deployments, particularly with enterprise customers in highly regulated industries such as financial services, government, healthcare and transportation, the Company is subject to risks related to increased customer bargaining power, longer sales cycles, regulatory changes, compliance with procurement requirements and contractual performance covenants, and enhanced customer support obligations.
The Company must invest significant time and resources in providing ongoing value to these customers and in enhancing its reputation as an enterprise software vendor. If these efforts fail, or if the Company’s customers do not renew for other reasons, or if they renew on terms less favourable to the Company, the Company’s revenue may decline and its results of operations could be materially impacted.
The Company’s ability to grow software and services revenue is also dependent on its ability to expand its distribution capabilities with partners, resellers and licensees and its ability to maintain a qualified direct sales force, which requires significant time and resources, including investment in systems and training. From time to time, the Company may choose to reorganize its go-to-market teams in an effort to better leverage its sales resources and improve customer service. These reorganizations, which may include investments in educating the Company’s sales force, can cause short-term disruptions and may negatively impact sales. There can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in implementing its sales and distribution strategy. See also the Risk Factor entitled “The Company’s success depends on its relationships with resellers and distributors”.
The Company faces intense competition.
The Company is engaged in markets that are highly competitive and rapidly evolving, and has experienced, and expects to continue to experience, intense competition from a number of companies. No technology has been exclusively or commercially adopted as the industry standard for many of the products and services offered by the Company. Accordingly, both the nature of the competition and the scope of the business opportunities afforded by the markets in which the Company competes are uncertain.
The Company’s competitors, including new market entrants, may implement new technologies before the Company does, deliver new products and services earlier, or provide products and services that are disruptive or that are attractively priced or enhanced or better quality compared to those of the Company, making it more difficult for the Company to win or preserve market share.
Some of the Company’s competitors have greater name recognition, larger customer bases and significantly greater financial, technical, marketing, public relations, sales, distribution and other resources than the Company does. In particular, some of the Company’s competitors may be able to leverage their relationships with enterprise customers based on other products or incorporate functionality into existing products to gain business in a manner that discourages users from purchasing the Company’s solutions, including by selling at zero or negative margins, product bundling or offering closed technology platforms. In the automotive sector, some of the Company’s OEM and Tier 1 customers have accelerated internal development of embedded solutions. In addition, competition may intensify as the Company’s competitors enter into business combinations or alliances and established companies in other market segments expand to become competitive with the Company’s business.
The impact of the competition described above could result in fewer customer orders, loss of market share, pressure to reduce prices, commoditization of product and service categories in which the Company participates, reduced revenue and reduced margins. If the Company is unable to compete successfully, there could be a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
The Company must obtain and maintain certain product approvals and certifications from governmental authorities, regulated enterprise customers and network carrier partners in order to remain competitive, meet contractual requirements and enable its customers to meet their certification needs. Failure to maintain such approvals or certifications for the Company’s current products or to obtain such approvals or certifications for any new products on a timely basis could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, independent industry analysts often issue reports regarding endpoint security solutions and the perception of the Company’s solutions in the marketplace, especially as compared to those of the Company’s competitors, may be significantly influenced by these reports. If these reports are negative, less frequent or less positive than reports on the Company’s competitors’ products, the Company’s competitive position may be harmed.
The occurrence or perception of a breach of the Company’s network cybersecurity measures or an inappropriate disclosure of confidential or personal information could significantly harm its business.
The Company is continuously exposed to cyber threats through the actions of outside parties, such as hacking, viruses, and other malicious software, denial of service attacks, industrial espionage and other methods designed to breach the Company’s network or data security. The Company is also exposed to risk as a result of process, coding or human errors and through attempts by third parties to fraudulently induce employees to provide access to confidential or personal information. Although malicious attempts to gain unauthorized access to such information affect many companies across various industries, the
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Company is at a relatively greater risk of being specifically targeted because of its reputation for security and the nature of its network operations, and because the Company has been involved in the identification of organized cyber adversaries.
The Company devotes significant resources to network security, encryption and authentication technologies and other measures, including security policies and procedures, vulnerability testing and awareness training, to mitigate cyber risk to its systems, endpoints and data. In addition, the Company engineers novel security and reliability features, deploys software updates to address vulnerabilities, and maintains a security infrastructure that protects the integrity of the Company’s network, products and services. The Company also mitigates risk by actively monitoring external threats, reviewing best practices and implementing appropriate internal controls, including incident response plans. However, the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access or to disable or degrade service are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated in nature, and frequently are not recognized or identified until after they have been deployed against a target. The Company may not be able to anticipate these techniques, to implement adequate preventative measures or to identify and respond to them in a timely manner, and the Company’s efforts to do so may have a material adverse impact on the Company’s operating margins, the user experience or compatibility with third party products and services.
Although to date the Company has not experienced any material financial or other losses relating to technology failure, cyberattacks or security breaches, there is no assurance that the Company will not experience loss or damage in the future. If the network and product security measures implemented by the Company or its partners, including third-party data center operators, cloud service providers and product manufacturers are breached, or perceived to be breached, or if the confidentiality, integrity or availability of the Company’s data, including intellectual property and legally protected personal data, is compromised, the Company could be exposed to significant litigation, service disruptions, investigation and remediation costs, regulatory sanctions, fines and contractual penalties. In addition, any such event could materially damage the Company’s reputation, which is built in large measure on the security and reliability of BlackBerry products and services, and could result in the loss of investor confidence, channel partners, competitive advantages, revenues and customers, including the Company’s most significant government and regulated enterprise customers. While the Company maintains cybersecurity insurance, the Company’s coverage may be insufficient to cover all losses or types of claims that may arise from cyber incidents, and any incidents may result in the loss of, or increased costs of, the Company’s insurance.
A failure or perceived failure of the Company’s solutions to detect or prevent security vulnerabilities could materially adversely affect the Company’s reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
The techniques used by cyber adversaries to breach network and endpoint security measures are sophisticated and change frequently, and the Company’s products and services may not protect users against all cyberattacks. At the same time, the Company’s products and services are highly complex and may contain design defects, bugs or security vulnerabilities that are difficult to detect and correct. Such internal defects and a variety of external factors, including misconfigurations, errors introduced through collaborations with the Company’s engineering partners or the failure of customers to address risks identified by our platform, could impair the effectiveness of the Company’s solutions and cause them to fail to secure endpoints and prevent attacks or function as intended. In addition, the Company’s solutions may falsely indicate a cyber threat that does not actually exist, which may negatively impact customers’ trust in the Company’s solutions.
Real or perceived defects, errors or vulnerabilities in the Company’s software and services, or the failure of the Company’s platform solutions to detect or prevent cyber incidents, could result in the delay or denial of their market acceptance and may harm the Company’s reputation, financial condition and results of operations. If errors are discovered, correcting them could require significant expenditures by the Company and the Company may not be able to successfully correct them in a timely manner or at all.
The Company’s products and services frequently involve the transmission, processing and storage of data, including proprietary, confidential and personally-identifiable information, and a security compromise, misconfiguration or malfunction involving the Company’s software could result in such information being accessible to attackers or other third parties. Real or perceived security breaches against a customer using the Company’s solutions could cause damage or disruption to the customer and subject the Company to liability, and may result in the customer and the public believing that the Company’s solutions are ineffective, even if they were not implicated in failing to block the attack. Further, a breach of an artificial intelligence and machine learning-based solution offered by another endpoint security provider could cause the market to lose confidence in next-generation security software generally, including the Company’s solutions.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has had and may continue to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Throughout fiscal 2021, the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and related public health measures, including orders to shelter-in-place, travel restrictions and mandated business closures, have adversely affected workforces, organizations, consumers and economies leading to an economic downturn and increased market volatility.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal operations of the Company and the businesses of many of the Company’s customers, suppliers and distribution partners. Throughout most of fiscal 2021, the Company mandated remote working, utilizing virtual meetings and suspending employee travel, to protect the health and safety of its employees, contractors, customers and visitors. The Company also shifted customer, industry and other stakeholder events to virtual-only experiences, and may similarly alter, postpone or cancel other events in the future. The Company has a limited history with substantially remote operations and the long-term impacts of it are uncertain.
In fiscal 2021, the economic downturn and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures undertaken to contain its spread negatively affected the Company’s QNX automotive software business and caused volatility in demand for the Company’s products and services, adversely affected the ability of the Company’s sales and professional services teams to work with customers, and increased sales cycle times. The uncertainty also resulted in the Company making significant judgments related to its estimates and assumptions concerning the impairment of goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets and certain operating lease right-of-use assets and associated property, plant and equipment.
The COVID-19 pandemic and related global chip shortage have had and, in fiscal 2022, may continue to have a material adverse impact on the Company’s QNX automotive software business in particular and on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition on a consolidated basis. While the Company does not expect the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic impact to materially adversely affect the Company’s liquidity position, the Company continues to evaluate the current and potential impact of the pandemic on its business, results of operations and consolidated financial statements, including potential asset impairment. The Company also continues to actively monitor developments and business conditions that may cause it to take further actions that alter business operations as may be required by applicable authorities or that the Company determines are in the best interests of its employees, customers, suppliers and stockholders.
The ultimate impact of COVID-19 will depend on, among other things, the pandemic’s duration and severity, governmental restrictions which may be sustained or additional measures which may be imposed in response to the pandemic, the effectiveness of actions taken to contain or mitigate the pandemic (including the availability and distribution of vaccines), the impact of the global chip shortage and global economic conditions. The long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business may not be fully reflected until future periods.
The Company’s success depends on its continuing ability to attract new personnel, retain existing key personnel and manage its staffing effectively.
The Company’s success is largely dependent on its continuing ability to identify, attract, develop, motivate and retain skilled employees, including members of its executive team, top research developers and experienced salespeople with specialized knowledge. Competition for such people is intense, continuous, and increasing in the industries in which the Company participates, and the Company has experienced solicitations of its employees by its competitors.
Competition for highly skilled personnel is intense, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the Waterloo, Ontario area, where the Company has a substantial presence and need for highly skilled personnel. The Company is also substantially dependent on the continued service of its existing engineering personnel because of the complexity of its products and services. Also, to the extent that the Company hires employees from mature public companies with significant financial resources, the Company may be subject to allegations that such employees have been improperly solicited, or that they have divulged proprietary or other confidential information or that their former employers own such employees’ inventions or other work product.
To attract and retain critical personnel, the Company may experience increased compensation costs that are not offset by increased productivity or higher prices for our products and services. Also, the Company’s financial results and share price performance (particularly for those employees for whom equity-based compensation is a key element of their total compensation), among other factors, may impact the Company’s ability to attract new, and retain existing, employees. Any failure by the Company to attract and retain key employees could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, during periods of internal reorganization, the Company may experience losses of business continuity and accumulated knowledge, internal compliance gaps or other inefficiencies, including litigation claims by terminated employees. If the Company does not maintain appropriate staffing, develop effective business continuity and succession programs, mitigate turnover and effectively utilize employees with the right mix of skills and experience across the functions necessary to meet the current and future needs of its business, the financial and operational performance of the Company could suffer.
The Company’s success depends on its relationships with resellers and channel partners.
The Company’s ability to maintain and expand its market reach is increasingly dependent on establishing, developing and maintaining relationships with third party resellers and channel partners. The Company makes training available to its partners and develops sales programs to incentivize them to promote and deliver the Company’s current and future products and services and to grow its user base.
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If the Company is not able to effectively identify and establish new relationships with successful resellers and channel partners, or to maintain or enhance existing relationships without giving rise to conflicts between channels, or if the Company’s partners do not act in a manner that will promote the success of the Company’s products and services, the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
Many resellers and channel partners sell products and services of the Company’s competitors and may terminate their relationships with the Company with limited or no notice and limited or no penalty. If the Company’s competitors offer their products and services to the resellers and channel partners on more favorable contractual or business terms, have more products and services available, or those products and services are, or are perceived to be, in higher demand by end users, or are more lucrative for the resellers and channel partners, there may be continued pressure on the Company to reduce the price of its products and services, or those resellers and channel partners may stop offering the Company’s products or de-emphasize the sale of its products and services in favor of the Company’s competitors, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Litigation against the Company may result in adverse outcomes.
In the course of its business, the Company receives general commercial claims related to the conduct of its business and the performance of its products and services, including product liability and warranty claims, employment claims, claims for breaches of contractual covenants and other litigation claims, which may potentially include claims relating to improper use of, or access to, personal data. Liability claims related to product defects, bugs or vulnerabilities could give rise to class action litigation or to the withdrawal of certifications, and the Company may be subject to such claims either directly or indirectly through indemnities that it provides to certain of its customers. The Company’s exposure to product liability risk may increase as the Company continues to commercialize its software innovations for autonomous and connected vehicles.
In addition, the Company is subject to potential litigation claims and enforcement actions arising from its public disclosure. The Company is committed to providing a high level of disclosure and transparency and provides commentary that highlights the trends and uncertainties that the Company anticipates. Given the highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry in which the Company operates and the recent transition in the Company’s business strategy, the Company’s financial results may not follow any past trends, making it difficult to predict the Company’s financial results. Consequently, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the Company’s forward-looking statements and may not meet the expectations of analysts or investors, which can contribute to the volatility of the market price of the Company’s common shares.
Litigation resulting from these claims could be costly and time-consuming and could divert the attention of management and key personnel from the Company’s business operations. The complexity of the technology involved and the inherent uncertainty of commercial, class action, securities, employment and other litigation increases these risks. In recognition of these considerations, the Company may enter into settlements resulting in material expenditures, the payment of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operation and financial condition. If the Company is unsuccessful in its defense of material litigation claims or is unable to settle the claims, the Company may be faced with significant monetary damages or injunctive relief against it that could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, BlackBerry brand, results of operations and financial condition. Administrative or regulatory actions against the Company or its employees could also have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, BlackBerry brand, results of operations and financial condition. See also “Legal Proceedings” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Network disruptions or other business interruptions could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business and harm its reputation.
The Company’s operations rely to a significant degree on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of complex technology systems and networks, which are in some cases integrated with those of carrier partners, cloud service providers, and third-party data centre operators. The Company’s network operations and technology systems are potentially vulnerable to damage or interruption from a variety of sources, including by fire, earthquake, power loss, telecommunications or computer systems failure, cyber attack, human error, terrorist acts, war, and the threatened or actual suspension of BlackBerry services at the request of a government for alleged non-compliance with local laws or other events. The increased number of third party applications on the Company’s network may also enhance the risk of network disruption or cyber attack for the Company. There may also be system or network interruptions if new or upgraded systems are defective or not installed properly, or if data centre operators fail to meet agreed service levels.
The Company has experienced network events in the past, and any future outage in a network or system or other unanticipated problem that leads to an interruption or disruption of BlackBerry services could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition, and could adversely affect the Company’s longstanding reputation for reliability. As the Company moves to handle increased data traffic and support more applications or services, the risk of disruption and the expense of maintaining a resilient and secure network services capability may significantly increase.
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The Company may not be successful in fostering an ecosystem of third-party application developers.
The Company believes decisions by customers to purchase its products, including the forthcoming BlackBerry IVY platform, depend and will depend in part on the availability and compatibility of software applications and services that are developed and maintained by third-party developers. The Company may not be able to convince third parties to develop and maintain applications for its cybersecurity software and embedded solutions platforms. The loss of, or inability to maintain these developer relationships may materially and adversely affect the desirability of the Company’s products and, hence, the Company’s revenue from the sale of its products.
The Company’s products and services are dependent upon interoperability with rapidly changing systems provided by third parties.
The Company’s platform depends on interoperability with operating systems, such as those provided by Apple, Google and Microsoft, as well as automotive OEMs. Operating systems are upgraded frequently in response to consumer demand and, in order to maintain the interoperability of its platform, the Company may need to release new software updates at a much greater pace than a traditional enterprise software company that supports only a single platform. In addition, the Company typically receives limited advance notice of changes in features and functionality of operating systems and platforms, and therefore the Company may be forced to divert resources from its preexisting product roadmap to accommodate these changes.
If the Company fails to enable IT departments to support operating system upgrades upon release, the Company’s business and reputation could suffer. This could further disrupt the Company’s product roadmap and cause it to delay introduction of planned products and services, features and functionality, which could harm the Company’s business. Furthermore, some of the features and functionality in the Company’s products and services require interoperability with APIs of other operating systems, and if operating system providers decide to restrict the Company’s access to their APIs, that functionality would be lost and the Company’s business could be impaired.
Operating system providers have included, and may continue to include, features and functionality in their operating systems that are comparable to elements of the Company’s products and services, thereby making the Company’s platform less valuable. The inclusion of, or the announcement of an intent to include, functionality perceived to be similar to that offered by the Company’s products and services in mobile or embedded operating systems may have an adverse effect on the Company’s ability to market and sell its products and services.
Risks Related to Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing
The Company may not be able to obtain rights to use third-party software and is subject to risks related to the use of open source software.
Many of the Company’s products include intellectual property which must be licensed from third parties. The termination of any of these licenses, or the failure of such third parties to adequately maintain, protect or update their software or intellectual property rights, could delay the Company’s ability to offer its products while the Company seeks to implement alternative technology offered by other sources (which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms) or develop such technology internally (which would require significant unplanned investment on the Company’s part).
In addition, certain software that the Company uses may be subject to open source licenses. Use and distribution of open source software may entail greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or other contractual protections regarding infringement claims or the quality of the code. Some open source licenses contain requirements that the Company make available source code for modifications or derivative works created by the Company based upon the type of open source software used. If the Company combines its proprietary solutions with open source software in a certain manner, the Company could, under certain of the open source licenses, face claims from third parties claiming ownership of or demanding the public release of the source code of the Company’s proprietary solutions, or demanding that the Company offer its solutions to users at no cost. This could allow the Company’s competitors to create similar solutions with lower development effort and time and ultimately could result in a loss of revenue to the Company. The Company could also be subject to litigation by parties claiming that what the Company believes to be licensed open source software infringes their intellectual property rights.
The terms of many open source licenses have not been interpreted by U.S. courts, and there is a risk that such licenses could be construed in a manner that could impose unanticipated conditions or restrictions on the Company’s ability to commercialize its products and services. In such an event, the Company could be exposed to litigation or reputational damage, and could be required to obtain licenses from third parties in order to continue offering its products and services or to re-engineer its products or services, or discontinue their sale in the event re-engineering cannot be accomplished on a timely basis, any of which could materially and adversely affect the Company’s business and operating results.
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Failure to protect the Company’s intellectual property could harm its ability to compete effectively and the Company may not earn the revenues it expects from intellectual property rights.
The Company’s commercial success is highly dependent upon its ability to protect its proprietary technology. The Company relies on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, confidentiality procedures and contractual provisions to protect its proprietary rights, all of which offer only limited protection. Despite the Company’s efforts, the steps taken to protect its proprietary rights may not be adequate to preclude misappropriation of its proprietary information or infringement of its intellectual property rights, and the Company’s ability to police such misappropriation or infringement is uncertain. The laws of certain countries in which the Company’s products and services are sold or licensed do not protect intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of Canada or the United States.
With respect to patent rights, the Company cannot be certain whether any of its pending patent applications will result in the issuance of patents or whether the examination process will require the Company to narrow its claims. Furthermore, any patents issued could be challenged, invalidated or circumvented and may not provide proprietary protection or a competitive advantage. In addition, a number of the Company’s competitors and other third parties have been issued patents, and may have filed patent applications or may obtain additional patents and proprietary rights, for technologies similar to those that the Company has made or may make in the future. Public awareness of new technologies often lags behind actual discoveries, making it difficult or impossible to know all relevant patent applications at any particular time. Consequently, the Company cannot be certain that it was the first to develop the technology covered by its pending patent applications or that it was the first to file patent applications for the technology. In addition, the disclosure in the Company’s patent applications may not be sufficient to meet the statutory requirements for patentability in all cases. As a result, there can be no assurance that the Company’s patent applications will result in patents being issued.
While the Company enters into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements with its employees, consultants, contract manufacturers, customers, potential customers and others to attempt to limit access to, and distribution of, proprietary and confidential information, it is possible that:
some or all of its confidentiality agreements will not be honored;
third parties will independently develop equivalent technology or misappropriate the Company’s technology or designs;
disputes will arise with the Company’s strategic partners, customers or others concerning the ownership of intellectual property;
unauthorized disclosure or use of the Company’s intellectual property, including source code, know-how or trade secrets will occur; or
contractual provisions may not be enforceable.
In addition, the Company expends significant resources to patent and manage the intellectual property it creates with the expectation that it will generate revenues by incorporating that intellectual property in its products or services. The Company is also monetizing its patent portfolio through outbound patent licensing, and derives a significant portion of its Licensing and Other revenue from its agreement with Teletry. Although the Company operates its own direct licensing program, it may not be possible for the Company to offset any reduction in revenue from Teletry in the short term, or at all. In addition, changes in the law may weaken the Company’s ability to collect royalty revenue for licensing its patents. Similarly, licensees of the Company’s patents may fail to satisfy their obligations to pay royalties, or may contest the scope and extent of their obligations. Finally, the royalties the Company can obtain to monetize its intellectual property may decline because of the evolution of technology, changes in the selling price of products using licensed patents, or the difficulty of discovering infringements.
The Company is in ongoing, exclusive negotiations with a North American entity for the potential sale of a portion of the Company’s patent portfolio relating primarily to non-core or legacy mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking technologies. These negotiations have had and may continue to have an adverse effect on the Company’s ability to monetize its patent portfolio, and the ultimate impact of any definitive sale transaction on Licensing and Other revenue and on the monetization of the Company’s patent portfolio is difficult to predict.
Detecting and protecting against the unauthorized use of the Company’s products, technology proprietary rights, and intellectual property rights is expensive, difficult and, in some cases, impossible. Litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce or defend the Company’s intellectual property rights and could result in substantial costs and diversion of management resources, either of which could harm the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations, and there is no assurance that the Company will be successful.
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The Company could be found to have infringed on the intellectual property rights of others.
Companies in the software and technology industries, including some of the Company’s current and potential competitors, own large numbers of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets and frequently engage in litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. Although the Company believes that third-party software included in the Company’s products is licensed from the entity holding the intellectual property rights and that its products do not infringe on the rights of third parties, third parties have and are expected to continue to assert infringement claims against the Company in the future. The Company may be subject to these types of claims either directly or indirectly through indemnities that it provides to certain of its customers, partners and suppliers against these claims. As the Company continues to develop software products and expand its portfolio using new technology and innovation, its exposure to threats of infringement may increase.
Many intellectual property infringement claims are brought by entities whose business model is to obtain patent-licensing revenues from operating companies such as the Company. Because such entities do not typically generate their own products or services, the Company cannot deter their claims based on counterclaims that they infringe patents in the Company’s portfolio or by entering into cross-licensing arrangements.
Regardless of whether patent or other intellectual property infringement claims against the Company have any merit, they could:
adversely affect the Company’s relationships with its customers;
be time-consuming and expensive to evaluate and defend, including in litigation or other proceedings;
result in negative publicity for the Company;
divert management’s attention and resources;
cause product delays or stoppages;
subject the Company to significant liabilities;
require the Company to develop possible workaround solutions that may be costly and disruptive to implement; and
require the Company to cease certain activities or to cease selling its products and services in certain markets.
In addition, any such claim may require the Company to enter into costly royalty agreements or obtain a license for the intellectual property rights of third parties. Such licenses may not be available or they may not be available on commercially reasonable terms.
Any of the foregoing infringement claims and related litigation could have a significant adverse impact on the Company’s business and operating results, as well as the Company’s ability to generate future revenues and profits. See also “Legal Proceedings” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Risks Related to Assets, Indebtedness and Taxation
The Company faces substantial asset risk, including the potential for charges related to its long-lived assets and goodwill.
The Company’s long-lived assets include items such as the Company’s network infrastructure, operating lease right-of-use assets and certain intellectual property. As at February 28, 2021, the Company’s long-lived assets had a carrying value of approximately $882 million. Under United States generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”), the Company reviews its long-lived assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. The Company’s ability to generate sufficient cash flows to fully recover the current carrying value of these assets depends on the successful execution of its strategies. If it is determined that sufficient future cash flows do not exist to support the current carrying value, the Company will be required to record an impairment charge for long-lived assets in order to adjust the value of these assets to the newly established estimated value.
Goodwill represents the excess of the acquisition price over the fair value of identifiable net assets acquired. As at February 28, 2021, the Company’s goodwill had a carrying value of approximately $849 million. Under U.S. GAAP, the Company tests goodwill for impairment annually, during the fourth quarter, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the asset may be impaired. These events and circumstances may include a significant change in legal factors or in the business climate, a significant decline in the Company’s share price, an adverse action or assessment by a regulator, unanticipated competition, a loss of key personnel, significant disposal activity and the testing of recoverability for a significant asset group. If any such events or circumstances arise, the Company may be required to record an impairment charge in the value of its goodwill. In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, the Company recorded total non-cash goodwill impairment charges of
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$594 million in the BlackBerry Spark reporting unit. For additional information, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Company has incurred indebtedness, which could adversely affect its operating flexibility and financial condition.
The Company has, and may from time to time in the future have, third-party debt service obligations pursuant to its outstanding indebtedness, which currently includes $365 million aggregate principal amount of 1.75% unsecured convertible debentures (the “Debentures”). The degree to which the Company is leveraged could have important consequences, including that:
the Company’s ability to obtain additional debt financing may be limited;
a portion of the Company’s cash flow from operations or other capital resources will be dedicated to the payment of the principal of, and/or interest on, indebtedness, thereby reducing funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, strategic initiatives or other business purposes; and
the Company’s earnings under U.S. GAAP may be negatively affected to the extent that any indebtedness, such as the Debentures, are accounted for by the Company at fair value and include embedded derivatives which fluctuate in value from period to period.
If the Company’s cash flow from operations declines significantly, the Company may be unable to pay amounts due under its outstanding indebtedness or to fund other liquidity needs and it may be required to refinance all or part of its then existing indebtedness (including the Debentures), sell assets, reduce or delay capital expenditures or seek to raise additional capital, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
The Debentures are subject to restrictive and other covenants that may limit the discretion of the Company and its subsidiaries with respect to certain business matters. These covenants place restrictions upon, among other things, the Company’s ability to incur additional indebtedness or provide guarantees in respect of obligations, create liens or other encumbrances, pay dividends, merge or consolidate with another entity and enter into any speculative hedging transaction. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default under the Company’s outstanding indebtedness, which would have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, certain of the Company’s competitors may operate on a less leveraged basis, or without such restrictive covenants, and therefore could have greater operating and financing flexibility than the Company.
There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to repay, restructure or refinance its indebtedness, including the Debentures, as principal amounts become due, or that it will be able to do so on terms as favourable as those currently in place. If the Company is unable to refinance its indebtedness or is only able to refinance indebtedness on less favourable terms, this may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Tax provision changes, the adoption of new tax legislation or exposure to additional tax liabilities could materially impact the Company’s financial condition.
The Company is subject to income, indirect (such as sales tax, sales and use tax and value-added tax) and other taxes in Canada and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining its worldwide liability for income, indirect and other taxes, as well as potential penalties and interest. In the ordinary course of the Company’s business, there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Although the Company believes that its tax estimates are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the final determination of any tax audits will not be materially different from that which is reflected in historical income, indirect and other tax provisions and accruals. Should additional taxes or penalties and interest be assessed as a result of an audit, litigation or changes in tax laws, there could be a material adverse effect on the Company’s current and future results and financial condition. In addition, there is a risk of recoverability of future deferred tax assets.
The Company’s future effective tax rate will depend on the relative profitability of the Company’s domestic and foreign operations, the statutory tax rates and taxation laws of the related tax jurisdictions, the tax treaties between the countries in which the Company operates, the timing of the release, if any, of the valuation allowance, and the relative proportion of research and development incentives to the Company’s profitability.
Under U.S. federal income tax laws, if a company is, or for any past period was, a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”), there could be adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. shareholders even if the Company is no longer a PFIC. While the Company does not believe that it is currently a PFIC, there can be no assurance that the Company was not a PFIC in the past and will not be a PFIC in the future.
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Risks Related to Regulation
The use and management of user data and personal information could give rise to liabilities as a result of legal, customer and other third-party requirements.
User data and personal information is increasingly subject to new and amended legislation and regulations in numerous jurisdictions around the world that are intended to protect the privacy and security of personal information, as well as the collection, storage, transmission, use and disclosure of such information.
The interpretation of privacy and data protection laws and their application to the Internet and mobile communications in a number of jurisdictions is unclear and evolving. There is a risk that these laws may be interpreted and applied in conflicting ways from country to country and in a manner that is not consistent with the Company’s current data protection practices. Complying with these varying international requirements could cause the Company to incur additional costs and change the Company’s business practices. In addition, because the Company’s services are accessible worldwide, certain foreign jurisdictions may claim that the Company is required to comply with their laws, even where the Company has no local entity, employees, or infrastructure. Non-compliance could result in penalties or significant legal liability and the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected. See also “Regulatory Environment” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The Company’s customers, partners and members of its ecosystem may also have differing expectations or impose particular requirements for the collection, storage, processing and transmittal of user data or personal information in connection with BlackBerry products and services. Such expectations or requirements could subject the Company to additional costs, liabilities or negative publicity, and limit its future growth. In addition, governmental authorities may require access to limited data stored by the Company through lawful access demands and capabilities, which could subject the Company to legal liability, unforeseen compliance cost and negative publicity. Even a perception that the Company’s products or practices do not adequately protect users’ privacy or data collected by the Company, made available to the Company or stored in or through the Company’s products, or that they are being used by third parties to access personal or consumer data, could impair the Company’s sales or its reputation and brand value.
Government regulations applicable to the Company’s products and services, including products containing encryption capabilities, could negatively impact the Company’s business.
Certain government regulations applicable to the Company’s products and services may provide opportunities for competitors or limit growth. The impact of potential incremental obligations may vary based on the jurisdiction, but regulatory changes could impact whether the Company enters, maintains or expands its presence in a particular market, and whether the Company must dedicate additional resources to comply with these obligations.
Various countries have enacted laws and regulations, adopted controls, license or permit requirements, and restrictions on the export, import, and use of products or services that contain encryption technology. In addition, from time to time, governmental agencies have proposed additional regulations relating to encryption technology, such as requiring certification, notifications, review of source code, or the escrow and governmental recovery of private encryption keys. Governmental regulation of encryption technology, including the regulation of imports or exports, could harm the Company’s sales in one or more jurisdictions and adversely affect the Company’s revenues. Complying with such regulations could also require the Company to devote additional research and development resources to change the Company’s software or services or alter the methods by which the Company makes them available, which could be costly. In addition, failure to comply with such regulations could result in penalties, costs and restrictions on import or export privileges or adversely affect sales to government agencies or government funded projects.
Failure of the Company’s suppliers, subcontractors, channel partners and representatives to use acceptable ethical business practices or to comply with applicable laws could negatively impact the Company’s business.
The Company expects its suppliers, subcontractors, licensees and other partners to operate in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding working conditions, labour and employment practices, environmental compliance, anti-corruption, and patent and trademark licensing, as detailed in the Company’s Supplier Code of Conduct. However, the Company does not directly control their labour and other business practices. If one of the Company’s suppliers or subcontractors violates applicable labour, anti-corruption or other laws, or implements labour or other business practices that are regarded as unethical, or if a supplier or subcontractor fails to comply with procedures designed by the Company to adhere to existing or proposed regulations, the delivery of BlackBerry products could be interrupted, orders could be canceled, relationships could be terminated, the Company’s reputation could be damaged, and the Company may be subject to liability. Any of these events could have a negative impact on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
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The Company is subject to risks related to regulations regarding health and safety, hazardous materials usage and conflict minerals.
The Company must comply with a variety of laws, standards and other requirements governing, among other things, health and safety, accessibility, hazardous materials usage, packaging and environmental matters, and its products must obtain regulatory approvals and satisfy other regulatory concerns in the various jurisdictions in which they are sold. The Company is also subject to SEC disclosure requirements applicable to issuers that have contracted to manufacture products containing certain minerals that are mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries. There can be no assurance that the direct or indirect costs of complying with such laws, standards and requirements will not adversely affect the Company’s business, results of operations or financial condition. Any failure to comply with such laws, standards and requirements may subject the Company to regulatory or civil liability, fines or other additional costs, and reputational harm.
General Risk Factors
Acquisitions, divestitures, investments and other business initiatives may negatively affect the Company’s results of operations.
The Company has acquired and continues to seek out opportunities to acquire or invest in, businesses, assets, products, services and technologies that expand, complement or are otherwise related to the Company’s business or provide opportunities for growth. In addition, the Company is increasingly collaborating and partnering with third parties to develop technologies, products and services, as well as seek new revenue through partnering arrangements.
These activities involve significant challenges and risks, including: that they may not advance the Company’s strategic objectives or generate satisfactory synergies or return on investment; that the Company may have difficulty integrating and managing new employees, business systems, development teams and product offerings; the potential loss of key employees of an acquired business; additional demands on the Company’s management, resources, systems, procedures and controls; disruption of the Company’s ongoing business; and diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns. Acquisitions, investments or other strategic collaborations or partnerships may involve significant commitments of financial and other resources of the Company. If these fail to perform as expected, or if the Company fails to enter into and execute the transactions or arrangements needed to succeed, the Company may not be able to bring its products, services or technologies to market successfully or in a timely manner, which would have a material adverse impact on results of operations.
Furthermore, an acquisition may have an adverse effect on the Company’s cash position if all or a portion of the purchase price is paid in cash, and common shares issuable in an acquisition would dilute the percentage ownership of the Company’s existing shareholders. Any such activity may not be successful in generating revenue, income or other returns to the Company, and the financial or other resources committed to such activities would not be available to the Company for other purposes. In addition, the acquisitions may involve unanticipated costs and liabilities, including possible litigation and new or increased regulatory exposure, which are not covered by the indemnity or escrow provisions, if any, of the relevant acquisition agreements.
As business circumstances dictate, the Company may also decide to divest itself of assets or businesses. The Company may not be successful in identifying or managing the risks involved in any divestiture, including its ability to obtain a reasonable purchase price for the assets, potential liabilities that may continue to apply to the Company following the divestiture, potential tax implications, employee issues or other matters. The Company’s inability to address these risks could adversely affect the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
The Company’s business is subject to risks inherent in foreign operations, including fluctuations in foreign currencies.
Sales outside of North America account for a significant portion of the Company’s revenue. The Company maintains offices in a number of foreign jurisdictions and intends to continue to pursue growth in select international markets. The Company is subject to a number of risks associated with its foreign operations that may increase liability and costs, lengthen sales cycles and require significant management attention. These risks include:
compliance with the laws of the United States, Canada and other countries that apply to the Company’s international operations, including import and export legislation, lawful access, and privacy, anti-corruption and consumer protection laws;
unexpected changes in foreign regulatory requirements;
reliance on third parties to establish and maintain foreign operations;
instability in economic or political conditions;
foreign exchange controls and cash repatriation restrictions;
tariffs and other trade barriers;
increased credit risk and difficulties in collecting accounts receivable;
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potential adverse tax consequences;
uncertainties of laws and enforcement relating to the protection of intellectual property or secured technology;
litigation in foreign court systems;
cultural and language differences; and
difficulty in managing a geographically dispersed workforce.
In addition, the Company is exposed to foreign exchange risk as a result of transactions in currencies other than its U.S. dollar functional currency. The majority of the Company’s revenue is denominated in U.S. dollars; however, some revenue, and a substantial portion of operating costs and capital expenditures are incurred in other currencies, primarily Canadian dollars, euros and British Pounds. For more details, please refer to the discussion of foreign exchange and income taxes in the Company’s MD&A for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021.
All of the above factors may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition and there can be no assurance that the policies and procedures implemented by the Company to address or mitigate these risks will be successful, that Company personnel will comply with them, or that the Company will not experience these factors in the future.
The Company expects its quarterly revenue and operating results to fluctuate.
The Company’s revenues can change from one quarter to the next, including due to unexpected developments late in a quarter, such as lower-than-anticipated demand for the Company’s products and services, issues with new product or service introductions, an internal systems failure, or challenges with one of the Company’s distribution channels or other partners (including licensees and manufacturers).
Gross margins on the Company’s products and services vary across product lines and can change over time as a result of product transitions, pricing and configuration changes, and cost fluctuations. In addition, the Company’s gross margin and operating margin percentages, as well as overall profitability, may be materially adversely impacted as a result of a shift in product/service, geographic or channel mix, component cost increases, price competition, or the introduction of new products and services, including those that have higher cost structures or reduced pricing.
The market price of the Company’s common shares is volatile.
The market price of the Company’s outstanding common shares has been and continues to be volatile. The market price of the Company’s shares may fluctuate significantly in response to the risks described elsewhere in these Risk Factors, as well as numerous other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, including: (i) announcements by the Company or its competitors of new products and services, acquisitions, customer wins or strategic partnerships; (ii) forward-looking financial guidance provided by the Company, any updates to this guidance, or the Company’s failure to meet this guidance; (iii) quarterly and annual variations in operating results, which are difficult to forecast, and the Company’s financial results not meeting the expectations of analysts or investors; (iv) recommendations by securities analysts or changes in earnings estimates; (v) the performance of other technology companies or the increasing market share of such companies; (vi) results of existing or potential litigation; (vii) market rumours; (viii) trading in derivative securities based on the Company’s common shares; or (ix) speculative trading that is not primarily motivated by Company announcements or the condition of the Company’s business. In addition, dilutive share issuances could adversely affect the market price of the Company’s outstanding common shares.
In addition, broad market and industry factors may decrease the market price of the Company’s common shares, regardless of the Company’s operating performance. The stock market in general, and the securities of technology companies in particular, have often experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. Periods of volatility in the overall market and in the market price of the Company’s securities may prompt securities class action litigation against the Company which, if not resolved swiftly, can result in substantial costs and a diversion of management’s attention and resources. See also the Risk Factor entitled “Litigation against the Company may result in adverse outcomes” and the “Legal Proceedings” section in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Adverse economic, geopolitical and environmental conditions may negatively affect the Company.
A slowdown in capital spending by end users of the Company’s products and services, coupled with existing economic and geopolitical uncertainties globally and in the Company’s target vertical markets, could substantially reduce the demand for the Company’s products and services and adversely affect the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition.
Current and future conditions in the domestic and global economies remain uncertain, and it is difficult to estimate the level of economic activity for the economy as a whole. It is even more difficult to estimate growth in various parts of the economy, including the markets in which the Company participates. Because all components of the Company’s budgeting and forecasting
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are dependent upon estimates of economic activity in the markets that the Company serves and demand for its products and services, economic uncertainties make it difficult to estimate future income and expenditures.
In addition, acts of terrorism, political unrest, the outbreak of hostilities and armed conflicts within or between countries have created and may continue to create uncertainties that may affect the global economy. If economic or geopolitical uncertainties, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, cause customers to reduce their IT budgets or to reduce or cancel orders for the Company’s products and services, the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
A significant portion of the Company’s personnel, including a majority of its senior leadership team, is based in California, in areas known for seismic activity and wildfires. The Company also has operations in numerous locations around the world that expose the Company to additional diverse environmental risks. A significant natural disaster, such as an earthquake, fire or flood could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s business and operations and could cause the Company to incur significant costs to repair damages to its facilities, equipment and infrastructure.
Although the Company maintains incident management and disaster response plans, they may prove to be inadequate in the event of a major disruption caused by a natural disaster or geopolitical incident and the Company may be unable to continue its operations and may endure system interruptions, reputational harm, delays in its development activities, lengthy interruptions in service, breaches of data security and loss of critical data, and the Company’s insurance may not cover such events or may be insufficient to compensate the Company for the potentially significant losses it may incur.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The Company’s headquarters are located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The Company’s main campus in Waterloo consists of three leased buildings with approximately 479,000 square feet. The remaining lease term is four years with the option to renew for an additional five years. The Company also operates facilities in the United States, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East for engineering, sales, marketing, research and development, our data center, and operations, among other general and administrative purposes.
The Company’s other significant lease properties include the following:
Ottawa facility, located in Ontario, Canada, totaling approximately 147,000 square feet;
Irvine facility, located in California, United States, totaling approximately 133,000 square feet;
Mississauga facility, located in Ontario, Canada, totaling approximately 75,000 square feet;
San Ramon facility, located in California, United States, totaling approximately 50,000 square feet;
Mountain View facility, located in California, United States, totaling approximately 36,000 square feet;
Cambridge facility, located in Ontario, Canada, totaling approximately 16,925 square feet; and
Brampton facility, located in Ontario, Canada, totaling approximately 6,706 square feet.
The following table sets forth the location and approximate square footage of the Company’s leased facilities as of February 28, 2021:
(Square feet in thousands)
Location
North America1,109 
Europe, Middle East and Africa147 
Asia Pacific29 
Total1,285 

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information regarding certain legal proceedings in which the Company is involved.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.
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PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
The Company’s common shares are listed and posted for trading on the NYSE and the TSX under the symbol “BB”.
On February 28, 2021, there were 806 registered holders of record of our common shares.
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities
The Company had no unregistered sales of equity securities during fiscal 2021 that were not previously reported.
Share Repurchases
The Company did not repurchase any shares during fiscal 2021.
Stock Performance Graph
The following graph shows the cumulative total shareholder return of $100 invested in the common shares compared to the S&P/TSX Composite Index, and the peer group index (S&P 500 Information Technology index) for the period of February 29, 2016 to February 26, 2021.
The performance of the Company’s common shares as set out in the graph is based upon historical data and is not indicative of, nor intended to forecast, future performance of our common shares. The graph lines merely connect measurement dates and do not reflect fluctuations between those dates.
bbry-20210228_g1.jpg
Base Period
2/29/20162/28/20172/28/20182/28/20192/28/20202/26/2021
BlackBerry Limited$100$89.12$155.44$111.40$66.20$128.68
S&P TSX Capped Composite100119.74120.08124.41126.46140.43
S&P 500/Information Technology100130.85175.92183.57229.30339.45
This performance graph shall not be deemed “filed” for purposes of Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) or otherwise subject to the liabilities of that section nor shall it be deemed incorporated by reference in any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Exchange Act, regardless of any general incorporation language in such filing.

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Ownership and Exchange Controls
There is currently no law, governmental decree or regulation in Canada that restricts the export or import of capital, or which would affect the remittance of dividends, interest or other payments by us to non-resident holders of the Company’s common shares, other than withholding tax requirements.
There is currently no limitation imposed by Canadian law or by the Company’s articles or by-laws on the right of non-residents to hold or vote the Company’s common shares, other than those imposed by the Investment Canada Act (Canada) and the Competition Act (Canada). These acts will generally not apply except where a control of an existing Canadian business or company, which has Canadian assets or revenue, or enterprise value (as applicable) over a certain threshold, is acquired and will not apply to trading generally of securities listed on a stock exchange.
Certain Canadian Federal Income Tax Considerations for U.S. Residents
The following is a summary of the principal Canadian federal income tax considerations generally applicable under the Income Tax Act (Canada) (together with the regulations thereto, the “Tax Act”) to a beneficial holder of the Company’s common shares who, for the purposes of the Tax Act and the Canada-United States Income Tax Convention (1980) (the “Treaty”), and at all relevant times, (i) is not and is not deemed to be a resident in Canada, (ii) is a resident of the United States for the purposes of the Treaty and is entitled to the full benefits thereunder, (iii) holds all common shares as capital property, (iv) deals at arm’s length with and is not affiliated with the Company, and (v) does not use or hold and is not deemed to use or hold the common shares in connection with a business carried on in Canada (each such holder, a “U.S. Resident Holder”). This summary is not generally applicable to a U.S. Resident Holder that is: (i) an insurer carrying on an insurance business in Canada and elsewhere, or (ii) an “authorized foreign bank,” each as defined in the Tax Act. Such U.S. Resident Holders should consult their own tax advisors.
Generally, a U.S. Resident Holder’s common shares will be considered to be capital property of a U.S. Resident Holder provided the U.S. Resident Holder does not hold such shares in the course of carrying on a business of trading or dealing in securities and has not acquired them in one or more transactions considered to be an adventure or concern in the nature of trade.
This summary is based upon the current provisions of the Tax Act, the current administrative policies and assessing practices of the Canada Revenue Agency published in writing prior to the date hereof, and the Treaty. This summary takes into account all specific proposals to amend the Tax Act publicly announced by or on behalf of the Minister of Finance (Canada) prior to the date hereof (the “Tax Proposals”), and assumes that all Tax Proposals will be enacted in the form proposed. However, no assurances can be given that the Tax Proposals will be enacted as proposed, or at all. This summary does not otherwise take into account or anticipate any changes in law or administrative policy or assessing practice whether by legislative, administrative or judicial action or decision, nor does it take into account tax legislation or considerations of any province, territory or foreign jurisdiction, which may differ from those discussed herein.
This summary is of a general nature only and is not intended to be, and should not be construed to be, legal, business or tax advice to any particular holder or prospective holder of the Company’s common shares, and no opinion or representation with respect to the tax consequences to any holder or prospective holder of the common shares is made. Accordingly, holders and prospective holders of the Company’s common shares should consult their own tax advisors with respect to the income tax consequences of purchasing, owning and disposing of the common shares in their particular circumstances.
Dividends
Dividends paid or credited, or deemed to be paid or credited, on the Company’s common shares to a U.S. Resident Holder will be subject to Canadian withholding tax at the rate of 25% of the gross amount of the dividends, subject to reduction under the provisions of the Treaty. Under the Treaty, the rate of Canadian withholding tax applicable to a U.S. Resident Holder that is the beneficial owner of dividends is generally reduced to 15% of the gross amount of the dividends, and, if such U.S. Resident Holder is a company that owns at least 10% of the Company’s voting shares at the time of the dividends, the rate of Canadian withholding tax is reduced to 5% of the gross amount of the dividends. U.S. Resident Holders who may be eligible for a reduced rate of withholding tax on dividends pursuant to the Treaty should consult with their own tax advisors with respect to taking all appropriate steps in this regard.
Disposition of Common Shares
A U.S. Resident Holder who disposes or is deemed to dispose of a common share will not be subject to tax under the Tax Act on any capital gain realized on such disposition, unless the common share constitutes “taxable Canadian property,” within the meaning of the Tax Act, of the U.S. Resident Holder at the time of the disposition and the U.S. Resident Holder is not entitled to relief under the Treaty.
Generally, a common share of a particular U.S. Resident Holder will not be “taxable Canadian property” of such U.S. Resident Holder at any time at which such common share is listed on a “designated stock exchange,” within the meaning of the Tax Act (which includes the TSX and NYSE) unless, at any particular time during the 60-month period that ends at that time, both of the
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following conditions are met concurrently: (a) 25% or more of the issued shares of any class of the capital stock of the Company were owned by or belonged to one or any combination of (i) the U.S. Resident Holder, (ii) persons with whom the U.S. Resident Holder did not deal at arm’s length for purposes of the Tax Act, and (iii) partnerships in which the U.S. Resident Holder or a person described in (ii) holds a membership interest directly or indirectly through one or more partnerships; and (b) more than 50% of the fair market value of the common share was derived, directly or indirectly, from one or any combination of: (i) real or immovable property situated in Canada, (ii) “Canadian resource properties” (as defined in the Tax Act), (iii) “timber resource properties” (as defined in the Tax Act), and (iv) options in respect of, or interests in, or for civil law rights in, property described in any of (b)(i) to (iii), whether or not the property exists. A common share may also be deemed to be “taxable Canadian property” in certain circumstances as set out in the Tax Act. In the case of a U.S. Resident Holder to whom a common share of the Company represents “taxable Canadian property”, under the Treaty, such a U.S. Resident Holder will generally not be subject to tax under the Tax Act on a capital gain realized on the disposition of such share unless the value of such share is derived principally from real property situated in Canada (within the meaning of the Treaty).
In the event that a common share is “taxable Canadian property,” within the meaning of the Tax Act, to a U.S. Resident Holder at the time of disposition, such U.S. Resident Holder should consult its own tax advisor as to the Canadian federal income tax consequences of the disposition.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The Company has elected to early adopt the amendment to Item 301 of Regulation S-K and is no longer required to provide five years of selected financial data.
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) should be read together with the audited consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes (the “Consolidated Financial Statements”) of BlackBerry Limited, for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021. The Consolidated Financial Statements are presented in U.S. dollars and have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. All financial information in this MD&A is presented in U.S. dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
Readers should carefully review Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” and other documents filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and other securities regulators. A number of factors may materially affect our business, financial condition, operating results and prospects. These factors include but are not limited to those set forth in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any one of these factors, and other factors that we are unaware of, or currently deem immaterial, may cause our actual results to differ materially from recent results or from our anticipated future results. Please refer to our MD&A included in our Annual Report on 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020 for a comparative discussion of our Fiscal 2020 financial results as compared to our Fiscal 2019, which is incorporated herein by reference. Additional information about the Company, which is included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021 (the “Annual Report”), can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This MD&A contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of certain securities laws, including under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws, including statements relating to:
the Company’s plans, strategies and objectives, including its intentions to increase and enhance its product and service offerings;
the Company’s expectations with respect to its revenue and billings in fiscal 2022 and with respect to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition on a consolidated basis, including its liquidity position;
the Company’s estimates of purchase obligations and other contractual commitments; and
the Company’s expectations with respect to the sufficiency of its financial resources.
The words “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “could”, “intend”, “believe”, “target”, “plan” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements in this MD&A, including in the sections entitled “Business Overview - COVID-19”, “Key Metrics - Billings”, “Results of Operations - Fiscal year ended February 28, 2021 compared to fiscal year ended February 29, 2020 - Revenue - Revenue by Product and Service”, “Financial Condition - Aggregate Contractual Obligations” and “Financial Condition - Debenture Financing and Other Funding Sources ”. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by the Company in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that the Company believes are
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appropriate in the circumstances, including but not limited to, the Company’s expectations regarding its business, strategy, opportunities and prospects, the launch of new products and services, general economic conditions particularly in light of COVID-19, competition, and the Company’s expectations regarding its financial performance. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the risk factors discussed in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” in the Annual Report on Form 10-K.
All of these factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking statements. Any statements that are forward-looking statements are intended to enable the Company’s shareholders to view the anticipated performance and prospects of the Company from management’s perspective at the time such statements are made, and they are subject to the risks that are inherent in all forward-looking statements, as described above, as well as difficulties in forecasting the Company’s financial results and performance for future periods, particularly over longer periods, given changes in technology and the Company’s business strategy, evolving industry standards, intense competition and short product life cycles that characterize the industries in which the Company operates. See “Strategy” subsection in Part I, Item 1 “Business” of the Annual Report.
The Company has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.
Business Overview
The Company provides intelligent security software and services to enterprises and governments around the world. The Company secures more than 500 million endpoints including more than 175 million cars on the road today. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the Company leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver innovative solutions in the areas of cybersecurity, safety and data privacy, and is a leader in the areas of endpoint security, endpoint management, encryption, and embedded systems. The Company’s common shares trade under the ticker symbol “BB” on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Company was incorporated under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) (“OBCA”) on March 7, 1984.
The Company continued to execute on its strategy in fiscal 2021 and announced the following achievements:
Products and Innovation:
Announced an agreement with AWS to develop and market the new BlackBerry IVY intelligent vehicle data platform;
Launched BlackBerry Spark® Suites, offering enterprises a range of tailored cybersecurity and endpoint management options to help protect data, minimize risk, and reduce cost and complexity;
Launched BlackBerry Cyber Suite, the industry’s first comprehensive AI-powered UES solution;
Announced that BlackBerry QNX software is embedded in more than 175 million cars on the road;
Announced that BlackBerry® UES was validated by MITRE ATT&CK APT29, which examines the ability to detect sophisticated tactics and techniques used by APT29, a group that cybersecurity experts believe operates on behalf of the Russian government;
Announced that an independent Frost & Sullivan study reported that the Company’s solutions can secure all IoT endpoints against upwards of 96% of all cyberthreats;
Launched BlackBerry Persona, the industry’s first UEBA solution using AI technology for continuous authentication;
Launched BlackBerry Protect® Mobile, an MTD solution to protect against mobile malware and phishing attacks;
Launched Zoom™ for BlackBerry®, a secure, containerized version of the Zoom app enabled by BlackBerry Dynamics;
Announced that BlackBerry UEM has achieved National Security Agency (NSA) Commercial Solutions for Classified Program (CSfC) approval;
Announced that BlackBerry UEM achieved National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) and U.S. Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) approvals;
Announced that the BlackBerry® Government Mobility Suite has achieved Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization;
Launched QNX® OS for Safety 2.2 and announced its certification by TÜV Rheinland to IEC 61508 SIL3 (industrial), ISO 26262 ASIL D (automotive), and IEC 62304 Class C (medical devices) functional safety standards;
Launched BlackBerry QNX® Hypervisor 2.2, the latest edition of the Company’s real-time embedded hypervisor;
Launched QNX® Black Channel Communications Technology, a new software solution that OEMs and embedded software developers can use to ensure safe data communication exchanges within their safety-critical systems;
Launched the BlackBerry® Alert next-generation critical event management solution for the commercial sector;
Introduced AtHoc® Managed Service to enable organizations of any size to maintain crisis communications capability;
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Announced the launch of BlackBerry® AtHoc® Public Safety Edition to support local governments and universities with critical event management programs;
Announced the integration of BlackBerry AtHoc with Microsoft Teams;
Announced the integration of the BlackBerry AtHoc service with ServiceNow’s Now platform for rapid crisis communications and IT service management;
Announced a dedicated European Union market version of BlackBerry AtHoc to comply with data residency mandates;
Announced enhancements to BlackBerry Radar® devices to help transportation businesses improve asset utilization and visibility;
Announced that BlackBerry is making available PE Tree, a free open-source tool for cybersecurity professionals that significantly reduces the time and effort required to reverse engineer malware;
Announced a collaboration with Intel to deliver a new release of BlackBerry Optics to stop cryptojacking malware;
Released the 2021 BlackBerry Threat Report, detailing a sharp rise in cyberthreats facing organizations since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic;
Released proprietary research uncovering attacks by BAHAMUT, a massive hack-for-hire group targeting governments, businesses, human rights groups and influential individuals;
Released new research that examines how five related Chinese Advanced Persistent Threat groups have compromised Linux servers, Windows systems and mobile Android devices for nearly a decade; and
Announced feature updates to its SecuSUITE for Government and BlackBerry AtHoc solutions.
Customers and Partners:
Launched the BlackBerry IVY Innovation Fund to drive innovation and new products using BlackBerry IVY;
Announced that the U.S. Air Force chose BlackBerry Spark for secure productivity;
Announced expanded partnership with Baidu to power high-definition map technology for autonomous driving;
Announced that Scania AB chose BlackBerry QNX to provide the safety-critical operating system and hypervisor in its next generation of heavy goods vehicles;
Announced the development of an autonomous driving domain controller for the Xpeng P7 intelligent electric sports sedan with Desay SV Automotive;
Teamed up with Desay SV Automotive to launch a virtual smart cabin domain controller in Chery’s Tiggo 8 Plus and Jetour X90 models;
Announced that QNX Black Channel Communications Technology will be used in Motional’s driverless vehicle platform;
Announced that StradVision will utilize the QNX® Software Development Platform within a number of next generation advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles from South Korean automakers;
Announced that the Neutrino operating system will power ADAS systems in Canoo’s next generation electric vehicles;
Announced that BlackBerry QNX technology will power the innovative digital cockpit in ARCFOX αT, a high-end, intelligent, electric SUV;
Announced that Plus has selected BlackBerry QNX technology for the global commercial deployment of their automated driving system for Class 8 trucks;
Announced expanded partnerships with Vodafone and TELUS to offer BlackBerry AtHoc as their secure critical event management and crisis communications solution;
Partnered with Bell to become Bell’s preferred MTD solution provider, delivering BlackBerry Protect to Canadian enterprise customers;
Launched the BlackBerry Partner Program to unify the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program and BlackBerry Cylance Partner Programs into one comprehensive structure;
Announced that the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program and the BlackBerry Cylance Partner Program both received a 5-Star rating from CRN for the fourth consecutive year;
Expanded the leadership position of the BlackBerry AtHoc crisis communication system within the U.S. federal government;
Announced that BlackBerry AtHoc introduced Derived Credentials and FedRAMP authorization on AWS GovCloud to better support U.S. Federal agencies;
Announced that the German Development Agency chose BlackBerry AtHoc as its emergency mass notification system;
Entered into a partnership with Dedrone, a market and technology leader in airspace security, to deliver advanced counter-drone technology to secure the world’s most critical sites;
Announced that Sliced Tech will host SecuSUITE for Government for Australian government and enterprise customers;
Announced that BlackBerry Radar added more than 12 new channel partners including two within Mexico, expanding the company’s asset monitoring solutions outside of the U.S. and Canada for the first time;
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Entered into a partnership with ZTR to offer railcar owners, operators and suppliers a powerful new digital monitoring solution;
Announced that BlackBerry® Jarvis™ was named “Best In Breed” binary analysis tool for embedded software by an Internal Research & Development (IRAD) program study;
Announced the success of a joint cybersecurity skills-based education program with Girl Guides of Canada; and
Entered into a partnership with University of Windsor to develop and deliver a cybersecurity curriculum for the University’s Graduate Master’s Program in Applied Computing.
Environmental, Sustainability and Corporate Governance:
Announced that the Company received eleven “Employer of Choice” and “Best Place to Work” Awards in 2020;
Expanded the Company’s commitment to the United Nations Global Compact Sustainable Development Goals;
Extended the Company’s partnership with the American Red Cross by donating BlackBerry AtHoc software to support community safety and resilience;
Appointed Thomas Eacobacci as President; and
Appointed Marjorie Dickman as Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer.

Debt Redemption and New Issuance
On September 1, 2020, the Company redeemed its outstanding 3.75% unsecured convertible debentures (the “3.75% Debentures”) for a redemption amount of approximately $615 million (the “Redemption Amount”), which settled all outstanding obligations of the Company in respect of the 3.75% Debentures.
On September 1, 2020, the Company issued an aggregate of $365 million principal amount of new 1.75% unsecured convertible debentures maturing on November 13, 2023 (the “1.75% Debentures” and collectively with the 3.75% Debentures, the “Debentures”) to Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd., in its capacity as investment manager of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited ("Fairfax") and another institutional investor on a private placement basis. Fairfax agreed to acquire $330 million principal amount of the 1.75% Debentures and receives interest at the same rate as the other holder of the 1.75% Debentures. The 1.75% Debentures have terms that are substantially identical to those of the 3.75% Debentures except that the 1.75% Debentures are convertible into common shares at a price of $6.00 per common share, bear a lower rate of interest at 1.75% per annum, are subject to a higher approval threshold for extraordinary resolutions and mature in 2023. Additionally, the 1.75% Debentures cannot be converted to the extent that, after giving effect to the conversion, the holder would beneficially own or exercise control or direction over more than 19.99% of the Company’s then issued and outstanding shares. Quarterly and annual interest expense on the 1.75% Debentures is and will be approximately $2 million and $6 million, respectively.
COVID-19
In March 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) as pandemic and extraordinary actions have been taken by international, federal, state, provincial and local governmental authorities to contain and combat the spread of COVID-19 in regions throughout the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures, including orders to shelter-in-place, travel restrictions and mandated business closures, have adversely affected workforces, organizations, consumers and economies leading to an economic downturn and increased market volatility.
The pandemic has disrupted the normal operations of the Company and the businesses of many of the Company’s customers, suppliers and distribution partners. To protect the health and safety of the Company’s employees, contractors, customers and visitors, throughout most of fiscal 2021, the Company mandated remote working, utilizing virtual meetings and suspending employee travel, to protect the health and safety of its employees, contractors, customers and visitors. The Company also shifted customer, industry and other stakeholder events to virtual-only experiences, and may similarly alter, postpone or cancel other events in the future. The Company has a limited history with substantially remote operations and the long-term impacts of it are uncertain.
In response to certain anticipated and ongoing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company has also implemented a series of temporary cost reduction measures to further preserve financial flexibility. These actions include the postponement of certain discretionary spending, taking advantage of the broad-based employer relief provided by governments in Canada, the United States and other jurisdictions, temporarily suspending certain company matching contributions to employee retirement savings plans and deferring increases in the base salaries of many employees and executives. These cost reduction measures and their estimated savings for the year ended February 28, 2021 included measures impacting employee salaries and benefits of approximately $18 million, a reduction in travel spending of approximately $18 million, and a reduction in discretionary selling and administrative expenses relating to marketing and facilities of $14 million. In addition, the Company has recorded approximately $53 million in offsets to salaries for amounts under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) and has deferred approximately $6 million of payments related to payroll taxes in the United States under the U.S. CARES Act, which amounts have been accrued. The Company estimates that savings from temporary cost reduction measures and governmental
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assistance related to COVID-19 will be lower in fiscal 2022 and will primarily depend on the speed and extent of the easing of pandemic-related restrictions and the extent of ongoing government programs.
In fiscal 2021, the economic downturn and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures undertaken to contain its spread negatively affected the Company’s QNX automotive software business, caused volatility in demand for many of the Company’s products and services, adversely affected the ability of the Company’s sales and professional services teams to meet with customers and provide service, negatively impacted expected spending from new customers and increased sales cycle times.
Although the Company experienced higher quarterly Software & Services revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic first materially negatively impacted the Company’s operations and observed a partial recovery in global automotive production volumes by the end of the fiscal year, the COVID-19 pandemic and related global chip shortage have had and, in fiscal 2022, may continue to have a material adverse impact on the Company’s QNX automotive software business in particular and on the Company’s business, results of operations and financial condition on a consolidated basis. The Company does not expect the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic impact to materially adversely affect the Company’s liquidity position.
The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s operational and financial performance will depend on, among other things, the pandemic’s duration and severity, the governmental restrictions that may be sustained or imposed in response to the pandemic, the effectiveness of actions taken to contain or mitigate the pandemic (including the availability and distribution of vaccines), the impact of the global chip shortage and global economic conditions. The long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business may not be fully reflected until future periods.
The Company continues to evaluate the current and potential impact of the pandemic on its business, results of operations and consolidated financial statements, including potential asset impairment. The Company also continues to actively monitor developments and business conditions that may cause it to take further actions that alter business operations as may be required by applicable authorities or that the Company determines are in the best interests of its employees, customers, suppliers and stockholders.
Fiscal 2021 Summary Results of Operations
The following table sets forth certain consolidated statements of operations data, as well as certain consolidated balance sheet data, as at and for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020, and February 28, 2019:
 
As at and for the Fiscal Years Ended
(in millions, except for share and per share amounts)
 February 28, 2021February 29, 2020ChangeFebruary 28, 2019Change
Revenue $893 $1,040 $(147)$904 $136 
Gross margin643 763 (120)698 65 
Operating expenses1,750 912 838 638 274 
Investment income (loss), net(6)(7)17 (16)
Income (loss) before income taxes(1,113)(148)(965)77 (225)
Provision for (recovery of) income taxes(9)(13)(16)20 
Net income (loss)$(1,104)$(152)$(952)$93 $(245)
Earnings (loss) per share - reported
Basic$(1.97)$(0.27)$0.17 
Diluted$(1.97)$(0.32)$0.00 
Weighted-average number of shares outstanding (000’s)
Basic561,305 553,861 540,477 
Diluted (1)
561,305 614,361 616,467 
Total assets$2,818 $3,888 $(1,070)$3,968 $(80)
Total long-term financial liabilities$720 $— $720 $665 $(665)
______________________________
(1)Diluted earnings (loss) per share on a U.S. GAAP basis for fiscal 2021 does not include the dilutive effect of the Debentures as to do so would be anti-dilutive. Diluted loss per share on a U.S. GAAP basis for fiscal 2021 and 2020 does not include the dilutive effect of stock-based compensation as to do so would be anti-dilutive. See Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial
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Statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021 for calculation of the diluted weighted average number of shares outstanding.
Financial Highlights
The Company had approximately $804 million in cash, cash equivalents and investments as of February 28, 2021.
In fiscal 2021, the Company recognized revenue of $893 million and incurred a net loss of $1.10 billion, or $1.97 basic and diluted loss per share on a U.S. GAAP basis. In fiscal 2020, the Company recognized revenue of $1.04 billion and incurred a net loss of $152 million, or $0.27 basic and $0.32 diluted loss per share on a U.S. GAAP basis.
The Company recognized adjusted revenue of $919 million and adjusted net income of $101 million, or adjusted earnings of $0.18 per share, on a non-GAAP basis in fiscal 2021. The Company recognized adjusted revenue of $1.10 billion and adjusted net income of $74 million, and adjusted earnings of $0.13 per share, in fiscal 2020. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.
Debentures Fair Value Adjustment
As previously disclosed, the Company elected the fair value option to account for the Debentures; therefore, periodic revaluation has been and continues to be required under U.S. GAAP. The fair value adjustment does not impact the terms of the Debentures such as the face value, the redemption features or the conversion price.
As of February 28, 2021, the fair value of the 1.75% Debentures was approximately $720 million versus the principal value of $365 million. For the three months ended February 28, 2021, the Company recorded a non-cash charge relating to changes in fair value from instrument specific credit risk of $4 million in Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) (“OCI”) and a non-cash charge relating to changes in fair value from non-credit components of $258 million (pre-tax and after tax) (the “Q4 Fiscal 2021 Debentures Fair Value Adjustment”) in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. In fiscal 2021, the Company recorded non-cash income relating to changes in fair value from instrument-specific credit risk of $13 million in OCI and a non-cash charge relating to changes in fair value from non-credit components of $372 million (pre-tax and after tax) (the “Fiscal 2021 Debentures Fair Value Adjustment”) in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations. See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further details on the Debentures.
The following table shows the impact of the changes in fair value of the Debentures for the three months and year ended February 28, 2021:
Three Months EndedFor the Year Ended
  February 28, 2021February 28, 2021
Income associated with the change in fair value from instrument-specific credit components on the 3.75% Debentures recorded in accumulated other comprehensive loss (“AOCL”)$— $15 
Realized charges associated with the change in fair value from credit components released from AOCL on redemption of the 3.75% Debentures— 
Charge associated with the change in fair value from instrument-specific credit components on the 1.75% Debentures recorded in AOCL(4)(8)
Total non-cash income (charges) recorded in AOCL$(4)$13 

Three Months EndedFor the Year Ended
  February 28, 2021February 28, 2021
Charge associated with the change in fair value from non-credit components on the 3.75% Debentures recorded in the consolidated statements of operations$— $(19)
Realized charges associated with the change in fair value from credit components recorded in the consolidated statements of operations on redemption of the 3.75% Debentures— (6)
Charge associated with the change in fair value from non-credit components on the 1.75% Debentures recorded in the consolidated statements of operations(258)(347)
Total non-cash charges recorded in the consolidated statements of operations$(258)$(372)

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Non-GAAP Financial Measures
The Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP, and information contained in this MD&A is presented on that basis. On March 30, 2021, the Company announced financial results for the three months and fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, which included certain non-GAAP financial measures, including adjusted revenue, adjusted Software and Services revenue, adjusted gross margin, adjusted gross margin percentage, adjusted operating expense, adjusted operating income, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted operating income margin percentage, adjusted EBITDA margin percentage, adjusted net income (loss), adjusted income (loss) per share, adjusted research and development expense, adjusted selling, marketing and administrative expense and adjusted amortization expense.
In the Company’s internal reports, management evaluates the performance of the Company’s business on a non-GAAP basis by excluding the impact of certain items below from the Company’s U.S. GAAP financial results. The Company believes that these non-GAAP measures provide readers of the Company’s financial statements with a consistent basis for comparison across accounting periods and is useful in helping readers understand the Company’s operating results and underlying operational trends.
Debentures fair value adjustment. The Company has elected to measure its Debentures outstanding at fair value in accordance with the fair value option under U.S. GAAP. Each period, the fair value of the Debentures is recalculated and resulting non-cash income and charges from the change in fair value from non-credit components of the Debentures are recognized in income. The amount can vary each period depending on changes to the Company’s share price. This is not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
Restructuring charges. The Company believes that restructuring costs relating to employee termination benefits and facilities pursuant to the Resource Allocation Program (“RAP”) entered into in order to transition the Company from a legacy hardware manufacturer to a licensing driven software business do not reflect expected future operating expenses, are not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
Software deferred revenue acquired. The Company has acquired businesses whose net assets include deferred revenue. In accordance with U.S. GAAP reporting requirements, the Company recorded write-downs of deferred revenue under arrangements pre-dating each acquisition to fair value, which resulted in lower recognized revenue than the original transaction price until the related service obligations under such arrangements are fulfilled. Therefore, U.S. GAAP revenues after the acquisitions will not reflect the full amount of revenue that would have been reported if the acquired deferred revenue was not written down to fair value, prior to the renewal of these arrangements. The Company believes that reversing the acquisition-related deferred revenue write-downs (so that the full amount of revenue booked by the acquired businesses is included) provides a more appropriate representation of revenue in a given period and, therefore, provides readers of the Company’s financial statements with a more consistent basis for comparison across accounting periods. The Company also believes that the adjustment is more useful in helping readers to understand the Company’s operating results and underlying operational trends, especially in future periods when the contracts underlying the acquired deferred revenue are renewed at amounts more consistent with their transaction price. As the impacted contracts renew over time, the associated reversal of the acquisition write-downs will trend to zero. Given the extent of the quantitative decline in this adjustment over time through the end of fiscal 2021, the Company plans to discontinue its usage of this non-GAAP measure beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
Software deferred commission expense acquired. The Company has acquired businesses whose net assets include deferred commissions. In accordance with U.S. GAAP reporting requirements, the Company recorded write-downs of deferred commissions under arrangements pre-dating each acquisition to fair value, which in most cases is nil. Therefore, U.S. GAAP commission expense after the acquisitions will not reflect commission expense that would have been reported if the acquired deferred commissions were not written down to fair value. The Company believes that reversing the acquisition-related deferred commission write-downs (so that the full amount of commission expense is included) provides a more appropriate representation of commission expense in a given period and, therefore, provides readers of the Company’s financial statements with a more consistent basis for comparison across accounting periods. The Company also believes that the adjustment is more useful in helping readers to understand the Company’s operating results and underlying operational trends, especially in future periods when the Company recognizes commissions on the renewals of the contracts underlying the acquired deferred commissions. As the impacted contracts renew over time, the associated reversal of the acquisition write-downs will trend to zero. Given the extent of the quantitative decline in this adjustment over time through the end of fiscal 2021, the Company plans to discontinue its usage of this non-GAAP measure beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
Stock compensation expenses. Equity compensation is a non-cash expense and does not impact the ongoing operating decisions taken by the Company’s management.
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Amortization of acquired intangible assets. When the Company acquires intangible assets through business combinations, the assets are recorded as part of purchase accounting and contribute to revenue generation. Such acquired intangible assets depreciate over time and the related amortization will recur in future periods until the assets have been fully amortized. This is not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
Business acquisition and integration costs. The Company incurs costs associated with business acquisitions, including legal costs, audit and accounting fees, and other acquisition and integration expenses. These expenditures do not relate to the ongoing operation of the business and they tend to vary significantly based on the circumstances of each transaction. This is not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
Acquisition valuation allowance. The Company records an income tax valuation allowance associated with business acquisitions. This is not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
Settlements, net. The Company believes that settlements, net is an unusual item related to legacy operations which is not reflective of the Company’s ongoing operating expense or core operating performance and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past and future operating performance.
Long-lived asset impairment charge. The Company believes that long-lived asset impairment charges do not reflect expected future operating expenses, are not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
Goodwill impairment charge. The Company believes that goodwill impairment charges do not reflect expected future operating expenses, are not indicative of the Company’s core operating performance, and may not be meaningful in comparison to the Company’s past operating performance.
On a U.S. GAAP basis, the impact of these items is reflected in the Company’s income statement. However, the Company believes that the provision of supplemental non-GAAP measures allow investors to evaluate the financial performance of the Company’s business using the same evaluation measures that management uses, and is therefore a useful indication of the Company’s performance or expected performance of future operations and facilitates period-to-period comparison of operating performance. As a result, the Company considers it appropriate and reasonable to provide, in addition to U.S. GAAP measures, supplementary non-GAAP financial measures that exclude certain items from the presentation of its financial results.

Reconciliation of non-GAAP based measures with most directly comparable U.S. GAAP based measures for the three months ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019
Readers are cautioned that adjusted revenue, adjusted Software and Services revenue, adjusted gross margin, adjusted gross margin percentage, adjusted operating expense, adjusted operating income, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted operating income margin percentage, adjusted EBITDA margin percentage, adjusted net income (loss), adjusted income (loss) per share, adjusted research and development expense, adjusted selling, marketing and administrative expense and adjusted amortization expense and similar measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by U.S. GAAP and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. These non-GAAP financial measures should be considered in the context of the U.S. GAAP results, which are described in this MD&A and presented in the Consolidated Financial Statements.
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A reconciliation of the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measures for the three months ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted financial measures is reflected in the tables below:
For the Three Months Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Revenue$210 $282 $255 
Software deferred revenue acquired (1)
Adjusted revenue$215 $291 $257 
Gross margin $152 $212 $206 
Software deferred revenue acquired (1)
Restructuring charges— — 
Stock compensation expense
Adjusted gross margin $158 $223 $210 
Gross margin % 72.4 %75.2 %80.8 %
Software deferred revenue acquired (1)
0.6 %0.7 %0.1 %
Restructuring charges— %— %0.4 %
Stock compensation expense0.5 %0.7 %0.4 %
Adjusted gross margin % 73.5 %76.6 %81.7 %
______________________________
(1) See Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP Software and Services revenue to adjusted Software and Services revenue

Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP operating expense for the three months ended February 28, 2021, November 30, 2020, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted operating expense is reflected in the tables below:
For the Three Months Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021November 30, 2020February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Operating expense$465 $276 $253 $178 
Restructuring charges— — 
Stock compensation expense16 11 15 13 
Debenture fair value adjustment (1)
258 95 (6)
Software deferred commission expense acquired(3)(4)(3)— 
Acquired intangibles amortization32 32 35 18 
Business acquisition and integration costs— — 
Goodwill impairment charge— — 22 — 
LLA impairment charge22 — — 
Settlements, net— — — (9)
Adjusted operating expense$140 $142 $172 $152 
______________________________
(1) See “Fiscal 2021 Summary Results of Operations - Financial Highlights - Debentures Fair Value Adjustment”
36



Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP net income (loss) and U.S. GAAP basic earnings (loss) per share for the three months ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted net income and adjusted basic earnings per share is reflected in the tables below:
For the Three Months Ended (in millions, except per share amounts)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Basic earnings (loss) per shareBasic earnings (loss) per shareBasic earnings per share
Net income (loss)$(315)$(0.56)$(41)$(0.07)$51 $0.09
Software deferred revenue acquired
Restructuring charges— 
Stock compensation expense17 17 14 
Debenture fair value adjustment258 (6)
Software deferred commission expense acquired(3)(3)— 
Acquired intangibles amortization32 35 18 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 
Goodwill impairment charge— 22 — 
LLA impairment charge22 — 
Settlements, net— — (9)
Acquisition valuation allowance— — (21)
Adjusted net income$16 $0.03$51 $0.09$60 $0.11
Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP Software and Services revenue for the three months ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted Software and Services revenue is reflected in the tables below:
For the Three Months Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Software and Services Revenue$160 $170 $147 
Software deferred revenue acquired
Adjusted Software and Services revenue$165 $179 $149 
Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP research and development, selling, marketing and administration, and amortization expense for the three months ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted research and development, selling, marketing and administration, and amortization expense is reflected in the tables below:
For the Three Months Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Research and development$48 $60 $52 
Stock compensation expense
Adjusted research and development$45 $57 $49 
Selling, marketing and administration$92 $113 $110 
Restructuring charges— 
Software deferred commission expense acquired(3)(3)— 
Stock compensation expense13 12 10 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 
Adjusted selling, marketing and administration$82 $102 $90 
Amortization$45 $48 $31 
Acquired intangibles amortization32 35 18 
Adjusted amortization$13 $13 $13 
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Reconciliation of selected non-GAAP based measures with most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures for the years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019
A reconciliation of the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measures for the years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted financial measures is reflected in the tables below:
For the Fiscal Years Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Revenue$893 $1,040 $904 
Software deferred revenue acquired (1)
26 59 12 
Adjusted revenue$919 $1,099 $916 
Gross margin$643 $763 $698 
Software deferred revenue acquired (1)
26 59 12 
Restructuring charges— 
Stock compensation expense
Adjusted gross margin$674 $832 $716 
Gross margin %72.0 %73.4 %77.2 %
Software deferred revenue acquired (1)
0.8 %1.4 %0.3 %
Restructuring charges— %0.5 %0.2 %
Stock compensation expense0.5 %0.4 %0.5 %
Adjusted gross margin %73.3 %75.7 %78.2 %
Operating expense$1,750 $912 $638 
Restructuring charges
Stock compensation expense47 58 64 
Debenture fair value adjustment (2)
372 (66)(117)
Software deferred commission expense acquired(13)(16)— 
Acquired intangibles amortization129 141 82 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 12 
Goodwill impairment charge594 22 — 
LLA impairment charge43 10 — 
Settlements, net— — (9)
Adjusted operating expense$576 $754 $597 
______________________________
(1) See Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP Software and Services revenue to adjusted Software and Service revenue
(2) See “Fiscal 2021 Summary Results of Operations - Financial Highlights - Debentures Fair Value Adjustment”



38



Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP net income (loss) and U.S. GAAP basic earnings (loss) per share for the years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to the adjusted net income and adjusted basic earnings per share is reflected in the tables below:
For the Fiscal Years Ended (in millions, except per share amounts)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Basic earnings (loss) per shareBasic earnings (loss) per shareBasic earnings per share
Net income (loss)$(1,104)$(1.97)$(152)$(0.27)$93 $0.17 
Software deferred revenue acquired 26 59 12 
Restructuring charges 10 11 
Stock compensation expense52 63 68 
Debenture fair value adjustment372 (66)(117)
Software deferred commission expense acquired(13)(16)— 
Acquired intangibles amortization129 141 82 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 12 
Goodwill impairment charge594 22 — 
LLA impairment charge43 10 — 
Settlements, net— — (9)
Acquisition valuation allowance— (1)(21)
Adjusted net income$101 $0.18$74 $0.13$131 $0.24
Reconciliation of U.S. GAAP Software and Services revenue for the years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted Software and Services revenue is reflected in the tables below:
For the Fiscal Years Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Software and Services Revenue$621 $691 $559 
Software deferred revenue acquired 26 59 12 
Adjusted Software and Services revenue$647 $750 $571 
Reconciliation of U.S GAAP research and development, selling, marketing and administration, and amortization expense for the years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 to adjusted research and development, selling, marketing and administration, and amortization expense is reflected in the tables below:
For the Fiscal Years Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Research and development$215 $259 $219 
Restructuring charges— — 
Stock compensation expense11 13 12 
Adjusted research and development$204 $246 $205 
Selling, marketing and administration$344 $493 $409 
Restructuring charges
Software deferred commission expense acquired(13)(16)— 
Stock compensation expense36 45 52 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 12 
Adjusted selling, marketing and administration$319 $455 $338 
Amortization$182 $194 $136 
Acquired intangibles amortization129 141 82 
Adjusted amortization$53 $53 $54 
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Adjusted operating income, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted operating income margin percentage and adjusted EBITDA margin percentage for the three months ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 are reflected in the table below. These are non-GAAP financial measures that do not have any standardized meaning as prescribed by U.S. GAAP and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.
For the Three Months Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Operating income (loss)$(313)$(41)$28 
Non-GAAP adjustments to operating income (loss)
Software deferred revenue acquired
Restructuring charges— 
Stock compensation expense17 17 14 
Debenture fair value adjustment258 (6)
Software deferred commission expense acquired(3)(3)— 
Acquired intangibles amortization32 35 18 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 
Goodwill impairment charge— 22 — 
LLA impairment charge22 — 
Settlements, net— — (9)
Total non-GAAP adjustments to operating income (loss)331 92 30 
Adjusted operating income18 51 58 
Amortization49 52 33 
Acquired intangibles amortization(32)(35)(18)
Adjusted EBITDA$35 $68 $73 
Adjusted revenue (per above)$215 $291 $257 
Adjusted operating income margin % (1)
8%18%23%
Adjusted EBITDA margin % (2)
16%23%28%
______________________________
(1) Adjusted operating income margin % is calculated by dividing adjusted operating income by adjusted revenue
(2) Adjusted EBITDA margin % is calculated by dividing adjusted EBITDA by adjusted revenue

40



Adjusted operating income, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted operating income margin percentage and adjusted EBITDA margin percentage for the fiscal years ended February 28, 2021, February 29, 2020 and February 28, 2019 are reflected in the table below.
For the Fiscal Years Ended (in millions)February 28, 2021February 29, 2020February 28, 2019
Operating income (loss)$(1,107)$(149)$60 
Non-GAAP adjustments to operating income (loss)
Software deferred revenue acquired26 59 12 
Restructuring charges10 11 
Stock compensation expense52 63 68 
Debenture fair value adjustment372 (66)(117)
Software deferred commission expense acquired(13)(16)— 
Acquired intangibles amortization129 141 82 
Business acquisition and integration costs— 12 
Goodwill impairment charge594 22 — 
LLA impairment charge43 10 — 
Settlements, net— — (9)
Total non-GAAP adjustments to operating income (loss)1,205 227 59 
Adjusted operating income98 78 119 
Amortization198 212 149 
Acquired intangibles amortization(129)(141)(82)
Adjusted EBITDA$167 $149 $186 
Adjusted revenue (per above)$919 $1,099 $916 
Adjusted operating income margin % (1)
11 %%13 %
Adjusted EBITDA margin % (2)
18 %14 %20 %
______________________________
(1) Adjusted operating income margin % is calculated by dividing adjusted operating income by adjusted revenue
(2) Adjusted EBITDA margin % is calculated by dividing adjusted EBITDA by adjusted revenue
Key Metrics
The Company regularly monitors a number of financial and operating metrics, including the following key metrics, in order to measure the Company’s current performance and estimate future performance. Readers are cautioned that billings, recurring revenue percentage, annual recurring revenue (“ARR”), dollar-based net retention rate (“DBNRR”), net customer churn rate and free cash flow do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by U.S. GAAP and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.
Billings
The Company defines billings as amounts invoiced less credits issued. The Company considers billings to be a useful metric because billings drive deferred revenue, which is an important indicator of the health and visibility of the business, and represents a significant percentage of future revenue.
Both Software and Services and total Company billings increased in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2021. Software and Services billings were consistent with the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, but total Company billings decreased. In fiscal 2022, the Company expects Cyber Security and BTS billings to grow by double-digit percentages.
Recurring Software Product Revenue
The Company defines recurring software product revenue percentage as recurring software product revenue divided by total software and services revenue. Recurring software product revenue is comprised of subscription and term licenses, maintenance arrangements, royalty arrangements and perpetual licenses recognized ratably under ASC 606. Total software and services revenue is comprised of recurring product revenue, non-recurring product revenue and professional services. The Company
41



uses recurring software product revenue percentage to provide visibility into the revenue expected to be recognized in the current and future periods.
Total adjusted Software and Services product revenue, excluding professional services, was approximately 90% recurring in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and decreased from greater than 90% recurring in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 due to product mix.
Annual Recurring Revenue
The Company defines ARR as the annualized value of all subscription, term, maintenance, services, and royalty contracts that generate recurring revenue as of the end of the reporting period. The Company uses ARR as an indicator of business momentum for software and services.
Software and Services ARR was approximately $468 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and decreased compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2021 primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on BTS, specifically on QNX production-based royalties. QNX royalties are included in the ARR calculation on a trailing four quarter basis.
Dollar-Based Net Retention Rate
The Company calculates the DBNRR as of any period end by first calculating the ARR from the customer base as at 12 months prior to the current period end (“Prior Period ARR”). The Company then calculates the ARR for the same cohort of customers as at the current period end (“Current Period ARR”). The Company then divides the Current Period ARR by the Prior Period ARR to calculate the DBNRR.
Software and Services DBNRR was 91% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and increased compared to 90% in the third quarter of fiscal 2021.
Net Customer Churn Rate
The Company defines net customer churn rate as the difference between the gross customer churn rate and the new customer acquisition rate, divided by the number of active customers in the prior quarter, expressed as a percentage. The Company uses net customer churn rate to evaluate the rate the Company is obtaining new customers to offset customers lost due to account cancellations or non-renewal of subscriptions.
Net Customer Churn Rate was approximately 1% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 consistent with the third quarter of fiscal 2021.
Free Cash Flow
Free cash flow is a measure of liquidity calculated as net operating cash flow minus capital expenditures. Free cash flow does not have any standardized meaning as prescribed by U.S. GAAP and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The Company uses free cash flow when assessing its sources of liquidity, capital resources, and quality of earnings. Free cash flow is helpful in understanding the Company’s capital requirements and provides an additional means to reflect the cash flow trends in the Company’s business. For the three months ended February 28, 2021, the Company’s net cash flow provided by operating activities was $51 million and capital expenditures were $3 million, resulting in the Company reporting free cash flow of $48 million.
For the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, the Company’s net cash provided by operating activities was $82 million and capital expenditures were $8 million, resulting in the Company reporting free cash flow of $74 million.
The Company previously stated that it expected to generate positive free cash flow in fiscal 2021. The Company has generated positive free cash flow in fiscal 2021.
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Results of Operations - Fiscal year ended February 28, 2021 compared to fiscal year ended February 29, 2020
Revenue
Revenue by Product and Service
Comparative breakdowns of revenue by product and service on a U.S. GAAP basis are set forth below.
 
For the Fiscal Years Ended
(in millions)
February 28, 2021February 29, 2020ChangeFebruary 28, 2019Change
Revenue by Product and Service
Software and Services$621 $691 $(70)$559 $132 
Licensing and Other272 349 (77)345 
$893 $1,040 $(147)$904 $136 
% Revenue by Product and Service
Software and Services69.5 %66.4 %61.8 %
Licensing and Other30.5 %33.6 %38.2 %
100.0 %100.0 %100.0 %
Software and Services
Software and Services revenue was $621 million, or 69.5% of revenue in fiscal 2021, a decrease of $70 million compared to $691 million, or 66.4% of revenue in fiscal 2020. The decrease in Software and Services revenue of $70 million was primarily due to a decrease of $75 million in recurring royalties in BlackBerry QNX, due to the slowdown in the automotive market related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the conversion in the prior fiscal year of certain existing royalty-bearing licenses to fixed pricing from volume-based pricing, a decrease of $16 million relating to professional services, a decrease of $9 million in BlackBerry AtHoc revenue and a decrease of $7 million relating to non-automotive OEM business, partially offset by an increase of $24 million related to product revenue in BlackBerry Spark and an increase of $18 million related to the sale of Secusmart solutions.
Adjusted Software and Services revenue was $647 million in fiscal 2021 compared to $750 million in fiscal 2020, representing a decrease of $103 million. The $103 million decrease in adjusted Software and Services revenue was primarily attributable to the same reasons described above on a U.S. GAAP basis and due to a decrease of $33 million in the non-GAAP adjustment of deferred software revenue acquired to $26 million in fiscal 2021 from $59 million in fiscal 2020.
The Company previously stated that in fiscal 2021, the Company expected BlackBerry QNX revenue to be negatively impacted by a slowdown in automotive market related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of which could be partially offset by increased customer demand for the Company’s endpoint security and productivity solutions that support business continuity and remote working environments, including the BlackBerry Spark platform, SecuSUITE and BlackBerry AtHoc. This is reflected in the Company’s results as noted above, with the exception of BlackBerry AtHoc which also declined.
The Company previously stated that it expected Software and Services, excluding BTS, to have slight U.S. GAAP and adjusted revenue growth in the second half of fiscal 2021. Software and Services, excluding BTS, had slight U.S. GAAP and adjusted revenue growth in the second half of fiscal 2021.
In fiscal 2022, the Company expects that Cyber Security revenue and BTS revenue will be higher in the second half of the year than in the first half of the year, and that Cyber Security revenue will be between $495 million and $515 million. Assuming that the global chip shortage has been alleviated by the middle of fiscal 2022, the Company expects that BTS revenue will return to a pre-pandemic run-rate of approximately $50 million per quarter by that time and will be between $180 million and $200 million for fiscal 2022 as a whole, such that full-year Software and Services revenue will be between $675 million and $715 million.
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Licensing and Other
Licensing and Other revenue was $272 million, or 30.5% of revenue in fiscal 2021, a decrease of $77 million compared to $349 million, or 33.6% of revenue in fiscal 2020. The decrease in Licensing and Other revenue of $77 million was primarily due to a decrease of $93 million in revenue from the BBM Consumer licensing arrangement and a decrease of $8 million from mobility licensing arrangements, partially offset by an increase of $16 million in revenue from the Company’s intellectual property (“IP”) licensing arrangements including its patent licensing agreement with Teletry, and an increase in $16 million in revenue generated from IP sales. SAF revenue, which is generated from users of BlackBerry 7 and prior BlackBerry operating systems, also decreased by $8 million, primarily due to a lower number of BlackBerry 7 users and lower revenue from those users compared to fiscal 2020.
The Company previously stated that it expects Licensing revenue to be modestly above $250 million in fiscal 2021, which is reflected in the above results.
The Company previously stated that it expected to generate total Company adjusted revenue of approximately $950 to $965 million in fiscal 2021, assuming a gradual re-opening of the global economy as the measures undertaken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are reduced. Total adjusted revenue was $919 million in fiscal 2021 primarily due to the impact on the Company’s Licensing and Other business of the Company having entered into negotiations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 for the potential sale of a portion of the Company’s patent portfolio. The Company has limited its patent monetization activities due to the negotiations and because revenue from additional transactions that could have been completed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 would have been treated as contingent revenue and deferred to future periods. Had negotiations not been in progress during the quarter, the Company believes that Licensing and Other revenue would have been higher.
Throughout the period in which negotiations or anticipated regulatory reviews related to the potential patent portfolio transaction are ongoing, the Company expects to continue to limit its monetization activities and expects to generate Licensing and Other revenue of $10 million to $15 million per fiscal quarter. If the sale process concludes in the middle of fiscal 2022 without the completion of a transaction, the Company will resume its prior monetization activities and expects that Licensing and Other revenue will be approximately $100 million in fiscal 2022. If a sale transaction is completed, the Company expects that Licensing and Other revenue will be significantly higher than $100 million in fiscal 2022 and the Company expects to use the transaction proceeds primarily to support the growth of the Software and Services business.
U.S. GAAP Revenue by Geography
Comparative breakdowns of the geographic regions on a U.S. GAAP basis are set forth in the following table:
 
For the Fiscal Years Ended
(in millions)
 February 28, 2021February 29, 2020ChangeFebruary 28, 2019Change
Revenue by Geography
North America$633 $743 $(110)$599 $144 
Europe, Middle East and Africa197 221 (24)222 (1)
Other regions63 76 (13)83 (7)
$893 $1,040 $(147)$904 $136 
% Revenue by Geography
North America70.9 %71.4 %66.2 %
Europe, Middle East and Africa22.1 %21.3 %24.6 %
Other regions7.0 %7.3 %9.2 %
100.0 %100.0 %100.0 %
North America Revenue
Revenue in North America was $633 million, or 70.9% of revenue, in fiscal 2021, reflecting a decrease of $110 million compared to $743 million, or 71.4% of revenue in fiscal 2020. The decrease in North American revenue is primarily due to a decrease of $93 million in revenue from the BBM Consumer licensing arrangement and a decrease of $37 million in BlackBerry QNX revenue, due to the reasons discussed above in “Revenue by Product and Service”, a decrease of $11 million relating to professional services, a decrease of $9 million in BlackBerry AtHoc revenue and a decrease of $7 million relating to non-automotive OEM business, partially offset by an increase of $32 million in IP licensing and sale revenue due to the reasons discussed above in “Revenue by Product and Service” and an increase of $18 million in product revenue in BlackBerry Spark.
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Europe, Middle East and Africa Revenue
Revenue in Europe, Middle East and Africa was $197 million, or 22.1% of revenue, in fiscal 2021, reflecting a decrease of $24 million compared to $221 million, or 21.3% of revenue, in fiscal 2020. The decrease in revenue is primarily due to a decrease of $30 million in BlackBerry QNX revenue, a decrease of $7 million in SAF revenue due to the reasons discussed above in “Revenue by Product and Service” and a decrease of $5 million in professional services, partially offset by an increase of $18 million related to the sale of Secusmart solutions.
Other Regions Revenue
Revenue in other regions was $63 million, or 7.0% of revenue, in fiscal 2021, reflecting a decrease of $13 million compared to $76 million, or 7.3% of revenue, in fiscal 2020. The decrease in revenue is primarily due to a decrease of $8 million from mobility licensing arrangements and a decrease of $7 million in BlackBerry QNX revenue due to the reasons discussed above in “Revenue by Product and Service”, a decrease of $4 million in professional services and a decrease of $2 million in development seat revenue, partially offset by an increase of $6 million in product revenue in BlackBerry Spark.
Gross Margin
Consolidated Gross Margin
Consolidated gross margin decreased by $120 million to approximately $643 million in fiscal 2021 from $763 million in fiscal 2020. The decrease was primarily due to a decrease in revenue in BlackBerry QNX and Licensing and Other, partially offset by increases in revenue in Secusmart and BlackBerry Spark, due to the reasons discussed above in “Revenue by Product and Service”, as the Company’s cost of sales does not significantly fluctuate based on business volume.
Consolidated Gross Margin Percentage
Consolidated gross margin percentage decreased by 1.4%, to approximately 72.0% of consolidated revenue in fiscal 2021 from 73.4% of consolidated revenue in fiscal 2020. The decrease was primarily due a lower proportion of gross margin percentage associated with BlackBerry QNX due to the reasons discussed above in “Revenue by Product and Service”.
Operating Expenses
The table below presents a comparison of research and development, selling, marketing and administration, and amortization expense for fiscal 2021 compared to fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019.
For the Fiscal Years Ended
(in millions)
February 28, 2021February 29, 2020ChangeFebruary 28, 2019Change
Revenue$893 $1,040