BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins displays the new Blackberry 10 smartphones at the BlackBerry 10 launch event by Research in Motion at Pier 36 in Manhattan on January 30, 2013 in New York City.
BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins displays the new Blackberry 10 smartphones at the BlackBerry 10 launch event by Research in Motion at Pier 36 in Manhattan on January 30, 2013 in New York City. - 
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Few would have predicted it a year ago. BlackBerry reported quarterly earnings this morning, and made a profit. Not a lot for a brand name tech firm -- $98 million -- but a profit to be sure. And the company formerly known as Research in Motion said it has sold 1 million of its new Z10 handsets.

Those are pretty good numbers for a company that a year ago looked close to collapse.

“It’s the first step to a comeback for a company that for the last five years has been struggling,” says Roberto Baldwin, writer at Wired magazine.

It took significant restructuring to get to this point. The company even axed its old name in favor of brand simplicity. Now, it's just BlackBerry.

“They sat on their laurels post-iPhone… and didn’t do anything,” Baldwin says. “With a new management team and new CEO, they finally have put out a brand new platform and new devices.”

The leaner, more entrepreneurial spirit appears to be helping BlackBerry. If Blackberry can do a better job keeping up Apple and Google's product cycles, the company could make an even bigger splash.

Baldwin says, “I can see in a year or two they could actually be a force to be reckoned with.”

In fact, he remembers another big name tech firm that was once thought to be on its death bed only to return and become the market leader. Before Steve Jobs' return in the late '90s, Baldwin recalls, “Apple was doomed, they were 90 days from bankruptcy."

However, to make an Apple-sized comeback, BlackBerry will have to convince consumers they have a full range of offerings -- beyond their trademark physical keyboard.

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal