BlackBerry today reported a bigger than expected drop in third-quarter revenue, despite the firm eking out a small adjusted profit and generating cash flow again. 

Revenue fell to $793m from $1.19 billion a year earlier, falling short of analysts' expectations of $931.5m. 

"It's a number that obviously, to us, is not satisfying," the company's chief executive John Chen said. 

He noted that the focus has been on margins and cash flow, adding that the company is now turning its attention to revenue. 

Chen said hardware sales in the quarter were weaker than expected as production was limited and the company could only fulfill all device orders early in the fourth quarter.

At an analyst conference in San Francisco last month, Chen had said revenue could slide faster than expected as its sales profile changes. 

BlackBerry had long made money charging system access fees, but now offers some basic services for free. 

As older devices are retired, revenue is eroded. But the company is aiming to boost hardware sales with its new Passport and Classic phones, buying time to scale up new premium services, which are not free, in 2015. 

The Ontario-based company's net loss narrowed to $148m, or 28 cents a share, in the quarter ended November 29, from a year-earlier $4.4 billion, or $8.37 a share. 

BlackBerry launched its long-awaited Classic smartphone earlier this week, hoping to help win back market share and woo customers still using older devices with a keyboard. The phone resembles its once very popular Bold and Curve handsets.