Blackberry bites the bullet and puts itself up for sale
BlackBerry, the struggling mobile phone maker that has been fighting a losing battle against Apple and Samsung, has put itself up for sale.
The Canadian company has announced it was considering going private and has set up a committee to examine the possibility. It will also look at other options to revive its fortunes, including potential joint ventures, alliances and strategic partnerships.
"Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives," said Timothy Dattels, a BlackBerry board member who will chair the new committee.
The company has embarked on a raft of measures in recent years to try to reclaim past glories, including changing its name from Research In Motion. But it has struggled to regain ground lost to Apple's iPhone as well as Samsung's devices and other handsets .
Analysts poured cold water on the idea of a change in structure helping it take back its position. BMO Capital Markets' Tim Long said he did not "envision any changes that would help BlackBerry reverse the significant smartphone share loss or rapid decline in service revenues".
Earlier this year, BlackBerry launched a new flagship handset, the Z10, which – in a departure for the company – did not have a physical keyboard.
However, in June it dismayed shareholders by announcing a $84m (£54m) first-quarter net loss, and declined to reveal how many Z10 handsets had been sold. Instead it said it had shipped about 2.7 million handsets using the new operating system – a long way short of the 37.4 million iPhones shipped by Apple in the first three months of the year.
Before yesterday's announcement was made, BlackBerry's market value had plummeted to less than $5bn from $84bn in 2008.
Blackberry's value as of yesterday. In 2008 it was worth $84bn