September 30, 2013

The misfortunes of Blackberry

Not so long ago Blackberry was the preferred mobile device of most businesses with a reputation of providing serious smartphones to serious businesses. Blackberry messenger “BBM” described as the “crown jewels” was popular not only in the business circles but also amongst students and youngsters as a free messaging service between Blackberry users.

What happened? Some may argue it is too simple to say the iPhone happened but what definitely did happen was technology changed. But that’s the nature of technology right? It evolves at lightning speed……. investors and critics will argue Blackberry should have always known that.

Smartphones because snazzier, touch screen technology got so good it was no longer temperamental and apps became more and more sophisticated.

It appears that Blackberry was just not quick enough with the technology evolution. Sales of the new Z10 have also added to Blackberry’s misery. Sales have been reported as so poor that it had to write off $934m in the second quarter to account for the weakness.

A sale is now on the cards led by Fairfax Financial, its biggest shareholder, offering $9 per share taking the company private. The sale will mean that the company remains in Canadian control and out of the scrutiny of the public eye. The sale is still at its early stages with due diligence expected to be completed by 4th November 2013. The offer could of course change after the due diligence.

No doubt the value of Blackberry is held in its patents and software- BBM being the prime example of this. Hopefully a sale will allow the Company to focus on these areas and perhaps turn around Blackberry’s fortunes. For now we will have to wait and watch.

If you have any comments or questions on this blog please contact John North, Head of Corporate Commercial [email protected] or Sonia Mohammed [email protected].

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