What is the deal with Blackberry?
There’s been a lot of stuff in the news about it that sounds all kinds of depressing, but what’s really going on? They were the cool kids for a while, but we realized just how long ago that was a few months back when we saw someone with a Blackberry and for a few seconds we couldn’t figure out what kind of phone it was.
But maybe that’s just us. If you look at some numbers, they still do seem to have a very dedicated user base.
So here’s the deal: they’re not done. Yet. They are however officially for sale. Little bit of a sad face.
Unfortunately for them, potential buyers are evilly waiting in the wings, waiting to see if the company will devalue further before making an offer. Names of potential buyers being thrown around by analysts are about who you would think- Samsung, IBM, Microsoft, HTC, a private investor or equity company , or even Apple.
If it’s a private sale, the company would more likely be stripped and sold off in pieces. If another big tech company buys it, they would use Blackberry’s technology, patents, and dedicated business users for their own benefit. This would also be a far more public route.
The problem is this: Blackberry as a company is predominantly based on aging technology. Technology that hasn’t been able to keep up with the smart phone industry giants.
A little backstory on Blackberry. BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion Limited, is a Canadian company. It was founded by Mike Lazaridis, who served as its co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie until January 22, 2012; as of August 2013, the company’s CEO is Thorsten Heins.
The last product launch Blackberry had was the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system and two new smartphones based off the platform, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, on January 30, 2013.
At the launch, Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said this in regards to the operating system: “It could be the greatest comeback in tech history. The carriers are behind us. They don’t want a duopoly” (referring to Apple and Samsung).
On the 25th March, Goldman Sachs analyst Simona Jankowski wrote: “We now assign a 20% probability of success for BB10, down from 30% previously, as the disappointing launch of the Z10 at AT&T reduces our confidence that sell-through of the BB10 will be successful in the important US market,”
On June 28, 2013, after BlackBerry announced net losses of approximately $84 million, its shares plunged 28%.
On August 12, 2013, the company announced that it is open to being purchased and stated in an official news release to Canada’s securities administrators:
“The company’s board of directors has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.”
So. They are still rolling out Blackberry 10, and they are open to, well, pretty much anything to make Blackberry make that great comeback.
We hope that Blackberry find a way to continue. But if not, we can think of a few other creative uses for the Blackberries. Like throwing them at people.
Image courtesy of Crackberry.