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Per a recent report by market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), BlackBerry Limited (BBRY - Analyst Report) shipment volume in the second quarter of 2014 showed a considerable improvement from the previous quarter.

The beleaguered Canadian smartphone manufacturer shipped 1.5 million smartphones in the second quarter compared with 1.3 million in the first quarter. However, the company’s shipment volume declined 78% year over year. BlackBerry market share has also gone down to 0.5% in the second quarter from 2.8% in the year-ago quarter.

BlackBerry was once a leader in the smartphone industry. However, in the last few years, the company’s handset business has deteriorated drastically due to stiff competition from Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android devices.

In the second quarter, Android held 84.7% market share, better than 79.6% the year-earlier quarter. To counter intensifying competition from Android devices, BlackBerry struck a licensing deal with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report) in June to bring the latter’s appstore to customers using the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system. This deal will open new avenues for BlackBerry 10 device users who can now access over 240,000 Android applications from the Amazon Appstore, including the popular ones like Groupon (GRPN - Analyst Report), Netflix (NFLX - Analyst Report), Minecraft, Pinterest and Candy Crush Saga.

In its efforts to revive a deteriorating handset business, BlackBerry will release a phone called “Passport.” flaunting a square shape -- a welcome detour from the usual rectangular phones. The device which has a 4.5 inch square display with full HD support will hit the market in September this year.

BlackBerry currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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