Quick take on the BlackBerry strategic alternatives announcement today

By Chris Umiastowski on 12 Aug 2013 08:37 am EDT
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It has been over one year since BlackBerry hired JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to help it explore strategic alternatives such as finding a partner or licensing the BB10 operating system. What happened during that time?  I’m not sure. As far as I can tell nothing has happened, except both investment banks have likely been paid nice fees for being on the assignment.

Was this strategic review last May news to the board of directors?  Of course not. They obviously pulled the trigger on it and felt it was a good idea. So forgive me if I’m unclear as to exactly how today’s announcement differs. Today they have announced the formation of a special committee to "explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.”  This doesn’t sound like something drastically different. But the press release also, for the first time that I can remember, actually includes text that acknowledges the potential sale of the company.

My quick take on this - the board is now realizing that BB10 is not taking off fast enough and they need to do something now. They can’t wait any longer. They say, “Now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives."  Perhaps they were not serious about their exploration last year?  Maybe it was just a smoke screen as some claimed. Maybe they really did need to wait until they had a solid release of BB10 out on the market before seriously engaging in discussions?

To the company’s credit, the recent release of BES 10 and the upcoming cross platform BBM release do make the timing more sensible.

For those of you with an interest in BlackBerry the stock, what’s your take?  What kind of deal would you like to see happen?  Full sale of the company?  Exiting the hardware business?  Finding a JV partner to enter new markets (i.e. Sony in Japan)?

Have your say in the comments. I’m going to be on the road pretty much all day, and hopefully I can do a bit more of a thorough discussion on this topic later on.

Topics: Editorial

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Quick take on the BlackBerry strategic alternatives announcement today

439 Comments

Unfortunately, this quarter financial results seems disastrous. No one would join a sinking ship.
Forgive me, I'm extremely sad.

I have to agree with Hassan00, They have been warned for almost 5 years about these days. And now they are here. Other than patents, BB has nothing anyone wants. Sony, HTC and Samsung all make much better high end hardware. Nokia make better low end hardware. Apple and Microsoft don't want anything to do with the BB software - legacy or otherwise. BB has alienated and destroyed its relationships with network providers and key developers - it has little good will in the marketplace - period.

I will point out that it is 8 months since BB10 launched. 8 months. And RSA still has not announced a release date for a BB10 application. If you don't know - RSA is required for 2 factor authentication. Most large companies, as well as government agencies utilize this extensively for remote access. As a result, BB on BES10 have not seen any real uptake or adoption. I won't run through the list of self inflicted injuries, this year alone has brought, but suffice to say Blackberry as a company fits the classic definition of insane. Their fate is not like AMD, their fate is not like Apple.

Not sure what you mean. I use an RSA hard token to log into my companies' VPN all the time on my Z10.

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RSA is best known and most widely used. And Masque - you may be running RSA on your Z-10 but it's is sideloaded and you converted the token. I did the same thing. But sideloaded android apps can not be pushed out by a BES admin, and no admin is going to sideload onto dozens or more BB's and then convert tokens. It's not happening. Don't believe me, check out the AM Law top 100 for 2013 and call their IT departments. Ask if they have fully deployed BB10 handsets yet - now 8 months following the launch.

DISA approval? Square that?

BES really didn't get rolled out until 10.1 (May) and then it takes a long time to go through the internal approval process.

I agree that there must have been some feedback from customers to the effect that they were nervous about the Co's future and wanted it in stronger hands.

Do you know RSA has been cracked already? 2048 bit not enough any more going higher makes things slow. It is ECC that counts. Do you know who rule ECC? You are so innocent.

NSA bought the right for all US government agencies to use Certicom (later acquired by RIM) CEE patents a few years ago with 62 million. NSA at the time already decided to retire RSA. I asked the the head of NSA cryptography unit about the timetable at an ECC conference. He said it is up to individual org unit to decide. I think RSA cryptography expert are the world's best. I don't think RSA will last more than a few years. You may argue it can go 4096 bit, but that won't fit mobile devices or Internet of Things.

Sorry to those who doesn't follow this. Please don't confuse RSA token with RSA asymmetric algorithm. The value of RSA token is about 1 / 1000,000 of the RSA algorithm itself. RSA is at the core of the current Internet security: Banking, Shopping, actually everything. It is the RSA algorithm that the NSA has decided to retire and replace it with ECC several years ago. And the process is on going.

I said in another thread that it's not coincedence that TH got on the board and then all these sellout/merger talks and rumours started.

Bbry and BB10 havent performed and someones looking to maximise the value of the company while they still can - BBM going cross platform was the last grasp by a leadership out of ideas.

My only hope is that TH manages to sell to Microsoft and then takes them down as well :(

BlackBerry should have made major changes 7 years ago. They should have sold the handset business and concentrated on software, services, and networks. I switched from my personal iPhone and work BlackBerry z10 to the Lumia 920. Yeah, I took a hit on apps. But I never looked back. The Windows Phone 8 experience is far more superior in my own opinion. Everyone has their own opinion. I was really hoping BBOS10 would be great. But I was seriously disappointed. I actually hated it. I still support BlackBerry's on a daily basis but we have decided to kill our BES10 test server, remove all BB10 devices, and focus on a BYOD strategy (Android, iOS, Windows Phone).

And cost your org money and intellectually properties or trade secrets. Not yours anyway, who care? Personal interest prevails here.

Touchpad, Surface, and Playbook... Keep me posted on all products you plan on buying, that way I can know what is likely to fail ;)

+1

I too would like BB-Sony to partner up. It would put BB in a better position to compete within the different verticals and accelerate their mobile computing goals in the consumer electronics department. This would at least put them in a better position to compete against Goliaths like Samsung and LG.

A Sony partnership might be good for BB. But why would Sony partner with a failing company? They already make smartphones and don't have to invest in a platform very few people want any more. They could have done that with WebOS.
If another tech company buys BB, it will only be for their patent portfolio.

Totally disagree. Some people on here thinks BB charges way too much for their products, wait until Sony gets a hold of it. And can you imagine all of the sony-exclusive technology would be used. BLEH

I'm not sure about Dell at this time. They have to solve there own problems first. If it was the dell of 2009 then for sure.

+ 1
I think you and I are on the same Page. Just imagine having QNX on Sony tv's, Sony Playstation, Sony camera's, etc. This partnership could definitely be beneficial to both companies.

I like that idea, used Sony before moving to BlackBerry, that would give me the best of both worlds.

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Sony just got out of jv with Ericsson and they have spent considerable amount of money trying to shape their own identity, solidify the brand name, on smartphone market that is. I really doubt Sony would be interested in another jv on such short notice.

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There might still be a chance if you could get a third to go in with them, but I agree chances are still slimmer.

Why would Sony or Dell buy BB? Other than for Patents? Sony is not going to make BB handsets. BB's handset business is a bleeder. Will sony put the BB10 OS on a SONY device? C'mon!! You know that's never going to happen. BB has to beg to get developers to bring major applications to the platform. Heck - even Skype is still in beta. Major sports, NFL, MLB, NHL - mobile app manufacturers are essentially being bribed/ forced to produce a BB10 app, and legacy BB devices are getting none of them.

Speculation and fantasy is fun - and I don't want to pee on anyone's corn flakes - but realize all this is lottery dreaming.

They sure do. It's fun to think what if...

Heck, my Mets could roll off the next 35 games and get into the playoffs. It could happen. But I would not devote any serious thought or capital into either.

If people like you would quit putting BlackBerry down and help push the proper recognition they deserve for BB10, things would be a lot different.

iOS and android sheep is all you people are.

WHo u talkin to xRuh? Not me - I'm sure. I've been with blackberry for more than a decade. I lived through the 7700, 8700G, the faulty trackball fiasco of the Tour, the Storm 1 and Storm 2, the Torch 9850 and now a Z10. I've been a member of this community since 2008. I also was able to clearly see at the time the Storm was released the writing on the wall. And the writing has dried and only the blind or ignorant can't see what has occurred and is occurring right now. BB shares dropping from $110 to below $10 is not my fault. Developers leaving the BB platform is not the fault of the media. BB's relationship with carriers is not the fault of mass hysteria or poor marketing. IOS was a revolutions and consumers spoke clearly with their $$$ that they wanted large, touch screen devices, that can get e-mail, surf the web effectively, listen to music and play games, and do so so easily and integrated that grandma can do it. In 2008 the executives and officers of BB met with theirt engineers and they realized that a Java based system could not provide the same type of experience. After Android began to have some early success they purchased QNX.

But rather than revamp the handsets, they focused on making a tablet, and went off half cocked trying to make a touch screen with some type of feedback mechanism under the same Java OS. In fact it took 3+ years to bring QNX./ BB10 to a handset. And during that time, they delivered a half-arsed experience to consumers, with the worst browsing experience and a dwindling and p-poor selection of apps that looked ancient compared to what developers were able to do on IOS and Android. I will not get into all the inside the beltway garbage between BB and carriers, especially Verizon (though I think allot of it is well documented and not nearly all Verizon's doing).

I know for some people its hard to ask yourself tough questions. Especially if you answer honestly, which I have little confidence some folks are capable of. So ask yourself, if it is so easy to port an app to BB10 then why not do it. Why the reluctance of say the makers of NFL mobile or MLB mobile. MLB did not bring the app to legacy BBs this year. All that would have taken was to change the calendar in the application, then $15-$20 per user. Why not do it. Why is Skype still in Beta 8 months after release. Why not release a Netflix port (BB offered to help bring it along). If it was one developer, or one carrier with a problem maybe you can point the finger at them, but that is not the case.

You are right. Yes, the BB dev tools sucks. But don't forget the BB10 OS and Cascades UI framework architecture leap ahead of the competition. In my opinion, the later is more important. For dev tools and documentation, BB, even with its current shortfall of cash, can easily buy a start-up company to replace the current IDE. So, Yes, the app problem's root is in dev tools and documentation, BB's fault. But it is not difficult to fix because the core is solid and way more advanced than the competition.

I don't necessarily think its just the tools. In fact I believe that's the smallest piece. I think its a combination of things. 1 part tools, 1 part user base (time in vs. $$ out) and several parts developer relations. BB has had poor relations with many of it's closest partners (developers and carriers) for a few years. I swear I think they must have put a team of Aspergians in charge. Improved tools will help those that 'want' to develop for BB. But not those BB has piss-d off to the point they would rather lose revenue then spend some time developing an app.

Would that be viable for Sony on the heals of the release of the latest Xperia? I don't know much about them (or the Xperia for that matter) are they lookng for a new OS (or GUI even... baby steps)?
If they are looking for a new driver for their hardware then it would be great to integrate the best of both devices and breath some new life back into BBRY

Sony is probably the only company that has even worse US carrier relations than BlackBerry. I think you can get the Xperia Z at T-Mobile now but besides that when was the last time a Sony phone was available in the US other than unsubsidized through the Sony store? I think it's been years.

The timing might make sense and it might be the right move, but unfortunately this news does nothing but enforce the negative sentiment that surrounds BlackBerry at the moment. Just look at the comments from the initial post.

They need some more good press soon, as in, yesterday. The DoD thing did not even get milked completely.

I believe this is pretty close to what is about to happen...otherwise why the resignation of Prem over a "conflict of interest"?

Hmmmmmm.....it is about to get interesting ;)

So would they be exploring options outside Fairfax and if nothing comes of it, Fairfax will take them private? It makes sense that BB should explore these options without Prem then.

With everyone agreeing that BB stock if undervalued and going private a seemingly real option, should I draw my wallet?

It's the obvious take away, right? Prem steps down, but isn't pulling his shares out?? Seems like he wants to come at it from another angle.

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I think the only additive to go into this equation is Fairfax might be looking to go into it with someone else as well and so they are looking at viable options for another partner.

I don't see that happening. I've followed Premier for a decade and a half and though he has taken companies private they are usually Insurance cos. He has already taken alot of flack from his FFH shareholders for taking such a large stake in the company. Him stepping down from board does make sense as conflict of interest being largest share holder.

Just because Prem takes flack from his shareholders doesn't mean he's not making a smart decision. As a long time follower you should appreciate that by now. He is very shrewd and for that reason I would hate to be the one selling my shares to Prem so he can take BlackBerry private; you know only one of you is right and there's a good chance it's not you.

Yea, I have alot of respect for Prem. I was also a shareholder when FFH almost went under because of their terrible aquisitions - thankfully he survived because i was a shareholder back then. He has changed ALOT over the years - because he has had to - some to please major shareholers. Do you remember when he wouldnt even give press conferences? He needed to change. Yes, he is a smart guy but still has to do what is right for the shareholders and there are some that he will listen to. He is also amost at $1B ACB on Rim. That is getting on the heavy side. I remember when they didnt even have $1B in cash. Again, his MO is usually taking insurance companies private. Doesnt mean he wont take this one. I clearly wrote "he has taken companies private they are usually Insurance cos." All things into consideration my friend.

When you say "FFH almost went under" do you mean the time that the share price droped something like 90% over four years even though Prem still managed to grow the book value per share over that period (1999-2002)? Hmmm... I swear I can think of a similar situation... It's right on the tip of my tongue... It will come to me, but in the meantime, how has FFH done since then? Amazing for him.

As an investor I don't think any CEO needs to give press conferences, a CEO needs to create value. That is what is right for this shareholder and what pleases this shareholder.

My point is, if Prem makes a play for BlackBerry (note the "if") he will be doing it to create value for Fairfax, not existing BlackBerry shareholders. Hence his leaving the board to remove a conflict of interest.

Hmmm, no, I am not talking about the share price. You do remember how many times they had to issue shares or debt right? Prem him self even admitted they were very close to going under. Do yourself a favour and dont equate share price to company strength. If you want to live by that sword than look back at when the stock was 600 and going over 2 decades its at 400ish today k? BTW its at about the same price I sold about 4 years ago. CEOs dont have to give investor conferences but guess what? they do - he does now for a reason. Please,dont try to get me to bash Prem cause i have a lot of respect for the guy but please, get off his sack. We dont care what you think he should do he does what he has to do.

That is my point exactly! Share price does not equate to company strength. 2001 was really the only bad year for FFH (I'm talking company strength, not share price) and it recovered but not before the shares overreacted and fell 90% from peak to trough. When FFH shares were above $610 there was only $160 of equity for each share. The shares got too high, but that was not Prem's fault. FFH then fell to $57 but the equity had actually grown to $193. The shares got too low. A smart investor would have recognized the over-reaction, bought FFH when the shares were low and made a killing.

Compare what happened to FFH then to what is happening to BlackBerry today. The share price went from around $150 (too high, but that was not Mike and Jim's fault) in 2008 when it had only around $10 of equity to where it is today (too low) with around $18 of equity per share. A smart buyer (Prem?) may recognize that, in which case I would not want to be a dumb seller at these prices.

If there could be a sale he can't be negotiating from both sides. He has to step down whether he plans to buy them out himself or not.

It's a risky bet that there is a white knight willing to invest the capital for anything other than the intellectual property.

Amanda Lang, the BlackBerry hater in Canada, commented last night about BlackBerry going private. It may be the right move as the markets are overly hard on BlackBerry and it is very expensive to be in the markets along with being hand cuffed if they are not raising capital. Also the fact that Samsung is going to market BBM in South Africa makes me wonder if some kind of deal is there.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

I'm pretty sure, she's pro-BlackBerry. She has disclosed on TV several times her love for her keyboard BB, and waited specifically for the Q10.

Yeah, I'll admit I watch the show occasionally,...

It's always the tone though. Every news caster does the same thing. For years it's the end for BlackBerry and consumers, even Canadian ones believed it. It is a self fulfilling prophecy. Bb10 is a great platform. The z10 is a fast smooth operating system. It is an absolute shame that BlackBerry has been given virtually zero credit. This platform should have flown off from the shelves. But between the carriers, the media and the younger generation that only can see Apple,it didn't stand a chance on the consumer side of things. It will survive on thee corporate side.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

This makes the most sense to me... otherwise why would Prem step down? This could be really good news...

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and what make you think that bbry is the good company to get them were bbry themselves cant get in to? that is some weird reasoning in my opinion

With Sony people have to remember that they are already with Android. So if they want to switch platforms they would likely need to be persuaded. Android is open source whereas bb10 is likely not going to be (BB needs to make money). Personally, I feel sony wants to get out of the Android market because samsung owns majority of the market share and currently can't compete with samsung and maybe even the mid to high phones made by HTC and LG. Sony still has brand power in many parts of the world which will could be beneficial for both BB and Sony. If they do get together, I would like to see Sony and BB approach the market the same way as Nokia and Windows by going after many markets. Plus, since Sony is a big player in many different businesses, they could persuade app developers to make apps for the platform (Netflix is huge on the PS3).

Android isn't open source. It's free to vendors who want to use it on their devices but that doesn't make it open source. Vendors don't have free reign to dive in and meddle with the kernel, but only to add their own skins and functionality on top. That isn't open source.

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I think his point was that Android is free but BB10 would not be. Either way, according to wikipedia: "Android is open source and Google releases the code under the Apache License. This open-source code and permissive licensing allows the software to be freely modified and distributed by device manufacturers, wireless carriers and enthusiast developers."

Maybe sony + BBRY = success? I donno, think that year more or less delay killed em...UHG! witch they announced less than two weeks after I bought stock FML.

As a fan and a shareholder, I wanna see the BlackBerry brand live on, a partnership of some sort would be nice, even going private. Wall Street scrutiny won't end until BlackBerry is dead.

Echoes my sentiment... I want to see the BlackBerry brand, brand values and DNA carry on in BlackBerry products I can go to the store and buy. If ultimately that means going private or partnering, I'm personally ok with that if it helps on that mission. Would be a shame to see it go away though.

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You may need to find another job as Crackberry could become irrelevant if the BlackBerry name does not go on. Sorry pal!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

The US government in itself stated they would not allow the sale of BlackBerry due to security reasons. BlackBerry will go private and tax dollars will prop it up, and no one has to know. At the end of the day I believe BlackBerry is more viable as a private company, and it's pulse must go on even if governments have to help carry it!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

A few months back it was on a news feed like cnbc. It was also printed.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

So how much power does the Canadian government have over a potential transaction? Could it actually block a sale or would it just slow the process down through red tape or what-not? Could a potential buyer, with the backing of shareholders, pursue a "hostile takeover" against the government's will?

They can block the sale of any Canadian company if they wish, but would only do it reluctantly. They've done it in the past for 'strategic national reasons', specifically blocking the sale of a Canadian satellite manufacturer and a Potash mining company.

...which coincidentally marked the big shift towards short-sellers dumping BlackBerry stock. It's easier to drive shares down knowing that a foreign takeover (to provide a floor to the share price) is unlikely.

I think I know that. Like the US Government had no say in the scrapping of the Arrow. If the US Government says BlackBerry doesn't sell to company X, then the Canadian government will block the sale. Today it was discussed on the news that if push came to shove, the Canadian Government would assist BlackBerry on the premise of its own security,let alone the States.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Good point PlayBook 007 the U.S did state that. I don't think the company will be sold. Even though the company is in a bad position right now a sell of the company will change the mobile industry for the worse in my opinion because I believe blackberry is so unique on what they offer

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Thank you! Glad to see someone else pays attention to the underlying news! Governments, massive corporations all over the world have a serious vested interest in BlackBerry for their security. You actually think they are just going to let it collapse? BlackBerry has no debt, a great new platform and has been meeting all security requirements world wide. Too much to sacrifice!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Note sure how going private really makes it easier to build, market and sell smartphones...

It would make it easier for a select few to divvy up the assets of the company and sell them for as much as they could to cover their losses.

I know there have been a few companies that went Private and that came back later as a stronger and profitable company. But BlackBerry's problems are all about timing and support... they can't afford anymore time to re-reorganize and then try to re-relaunch the platform again. And one of the main purposes to going private would be the private portion - with all the analyst and other companies out there doing "checks", BlackBerry is still going to have a hard time keeping their "progress" a secret from developers and other "partners" are going to be interested their marketshare.

They will survive on their corporate, government and institutional dealings which they are the best. There will be some consumer spill over due to this. The markets are used to raise large amounts of cash for growth, but they are not for BlackBerry so the become a huge cash and energy drain instead. Ditch the market and you can focus all that energy on actually doing what you should be doing and pay the interest on your money. It's cheaper and a lot easier.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Your work force can show up to work and focus on the real task at hand, or a large portion of that energy can go towards satisfying all the requirements of being a public company, which in turn is having fun kicking you even when you do well. Do you not think Apple for example has not paid huge bucks to have the media bully BlackBerry at every turn. They own the media! I own a company, and it is very easy to get off track especially if your hands are tied.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Good points. To add, if 'we' go private, will there be more or LESS disclosure of factual progress.
Seems like word is nebulous enough, with the bears currently being the good-guys; by that, I mean that they were all-in-all the most correct thus far.

Go 'our' BlackBerry!

I don't have a crystal ball but my guess is that a deal is going to happen. A buyout or going private will cause a pop in the stock price, which is great for shareholders if they plan to sell in the near term. But I'm a long term believer in the company's vision. Privatization will mean the common shareholder will need to give up their shares prematurely and not be able to benefit from the company's long term success. On the other hand, by going private, BlackBerry will be able to execute their vision behind the curtains, without the criticism of shareholders and media, which is good thing as all the negative news in the past year has detracted their focus on pushing their products forward. And they will have the financial backing of the deep pocketed private equity firms to re-organize and move forward.

I think BlackBerry is intentionally depressing their own stock price. Why would they launch their last few new products near the end of the quarter? So that their sales are not reflected in the upcoming earnings release. Look at the timing of the launch of the Q10 and then the Q5. Only a few weeks of sales in a handful of countries were reflected in their respective quarterly earnings report. This created an image that the launches were not successful. So why would BlackBerry want to do this? To make themselves more attractive for privatization or a buyout with a lower price tag.

Another sign that BlackBerry is headed towards privatization is the hoarding of cash. Private equity firms like to see a good amount of cash on the balance sheet. Almost half of BlackBerry's valuation is cash. BlackBerry can also use this cash to contribute to their own buyout by repurchasing their own stock, at a price that they've been trying to manipulate.

So, as a BlackBerry fan, I am excited about what will happen going forward, but as a shareholder, I sit on the fence about all this drama.

I completely see your point, and I agree. It makes PERFECT sense.

On the other hand, if they were going to make some partnerships, Cisco, Nintendo (you better believe it) and strengthening the partnership with IBM would be good options. Sierra Wireless (or however their name goes) would be an excellent buy for BlackBerry 10!!

My Tech-Fleet: Q10; Z10; PlayBook; Surface Pro; Xbox 360; HP TouchPad; iPod Touch 5

1st, BlackBerry cannot buyout themselves... there are restrictions on how many own shares you can hold as a company...
2nd what scaresme about the PE sharks: you're right they like big cash piles in the balance sheet but mainly for one reason: cash out as a dividend. This is then definitely the end... There are enough examples of PE investors forcing their own companies to burden up more debt just to satisfy their dividend "needs"...

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Restrictions? You sure? Both mine company and father's own company own 100% of the shares.

My Tech-Fleet: Q10; Z10; PlayBook; Surface Pro; Xbox 360; HP TouchPad; iPod Touch 5

I'm assuming both companies aren't publicly traded now are they? There are listing requirements for different exchanges.

BINGO. Finally someone sees the light. BlackBerry non existent advertising budget, their lack of media presence shows me they are gearing up for something big. They are producing devices that they seem to be reluctant to sell. Ie depressing the stock price and image. Yet they are working hard in the background both on devices and the corporate, government and institutional sectors. The sale and approval of the DoD in the US goes completely unnoticed! I don't believe it's a bankruptcy sale. I really believe BlackBerry wants to go private again. The markets are nothing but a cash drain and an albatross around the old neck so to speak!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Ha, I feel that BlackBerry has been sand-bagging since the beginning, but I too can't put my thumb on it.

Sony deal: I've been typing this for months now,but can't help think that even though a partnership could benefit both parties (hey,t would have to), I think about the current sour market share of BlackBerry in Japan. Would this help the Japanese market? I think yes, but it could also remain the same, with Japanese folks bashing Sony for the deal.

I'm still pro-ANYTHING that may help 'MY' stock price, even if Heins has to... never mind.

"But I'm a long term believer in the company's vision."

What exactly is the company's vision? "Mobile computing?" What does that mean and how is it different from Apple's or Microsoft's visions?

"I think BlackBerry is intentionally depressing their own stock price...This created an image that the launches were not successful."

But it would also create an image that BB 10 is not successful or compelling, which would actually devalue one of the company's assets. While that might keep the sale price low, why would someone want to buy a company whose products are perceived to have limited value?

Saying Blackberry is purposely depressing it's price is probably the biggest pile of bull I've ever heard. The fact that anyone would agree with you speaks to the volume of wishful thinking here.

Think rationally. If Blackberry really wanted to depress their share price, they would have simply answered all the questions instead of dodging them during the last earnings call. Most notably, the sell though rate of BB10 devices and not the shipped numbers. I can guarantee you if they announced it, the share price would have absolutely tanked.

A12:

Disagree there. BlackBerry almost could not have more poor timing of things discussed in the last ER and how it relates to the stock; the 'nixing' of the PlayBook coming first to mind.
If you still disagree, just pull up the last ER and watch the stock price/clock. Pay particular attention as Thor starts talking, and where the stock starts to drop like a lead balloon.

announcing this "new" initiative was calculated to raise the pps, which makes BB harder to sell as it becomes more expensive. Go figure. If they were really looking to do it why make an announcement ? Smacks of desperation.

+ a million. Don't forget you can vote against privatization. And vote against it please. BB worth more than 35 billion. Those bad insiders want to grab all 35 billion. The majority of the shareholders will vote against it. I am sure.

I agree with you but disagree on the conspiracy theories. I don't think it is that complicated. The hoarding of cash was simply to allow them to execute on their long term plan as they continued to take losses, but think they have come to the realization that the losses may end up being much higher than initially expected. I don't think anything was intentional to depress the stock. I think poor marketing, a difficult and late release in the US combined with general poor reception of the BB10 product line has contributed to a much poorer than expected result. Now they are having to find another course of action.

I disagree a bit. Historically IBM tends to dislike actually marketing products. They tended to develop technology to sell to other companies. At least that's how they behaved in the past...

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No trust me they wouldn't. They are too process driven and will kill any company innovation that BlackBerry wants to execute on.

There's going to be lots of speculation out there and the result is going to be good short term ,I,m going to be glued to the screen today!!!

So blackberry is thinking of selling the company "BlackBerry "? What does this mean for my z10?

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Bb10 is all they have. They will continue to improve it and push out updates for as long as there is a company around.

Even if the company was sold and the name changed, current employees would remain and as a user you would likely not notice any different in your experience.

Posted via CB10

If sold, and it is a big if, then it would ultimately be up to the buyer how much support they want to give to existing products. I would guess that if they're buying they believe in the products enough that they would continue to support them, but there's that super-small chance that somebody would buy them just for patents, too.

Since they're testing running BB10 on Samsung hardware (Exynos5), my take is that they will create together Samsung's new business division.
Win/win for both Samsung and BlackBerry. No more Knox, no more dated hardware.

A couple of years ago before they really invested in Windows Phone and Windows 8 I was really cheering for this. Other than getting some of the back-end enterprise stuff I'm not sure how much Microsoft would really use of it now, though.

There can be no assurance that this exploration process will result in any transaction. The Company does not currently intend to disclose further developments with respect to this process, unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or otherwise concludes the review of strategic alternatives.

Posted via CB10

Seen on one of the market reports:

"Fairfax Financial CEO Prema Watsa, who is resigning from Blackberry's board to avoid a conflict of interest as the company explores a sale, said he has no current intention of selling its shares in Blackberry (BBRY). "

I know of Prem's handiwork... and if he's toying with the idea of buying it out, this is nothing but GOOD news!!

Good news for Prem. Only one side of the trade can be right. Bad news for those who have to sell to him at a bargain price. This stock needs to rise A LOT more or else Prem could walk away with an amazing deal at the expense of current shareholders.

Did anyone new get invited to become a board
member? Oftentimes new board members could give a clue as to direction the plan may be heading.

Posted via CB10

BB10 has been released late. I have just moved to a BlackBerry device from an iPhone and it still needs some finishing touch with copy/paste and some other basic things but overall a solid release. It's missing a lot of apps but I am liking the freedom of using the file explorer and the removable battery. And obviously BlackBerry is very secure and they don't pry on user information. So I will stay with. BlackBerry device for a while.

Posted via CB10

No reason to move. Would they continue to burn cash developing and releasing the z30? No. Privatization is what BlackBerry needs for the next few years. I just put a $35.00 64 gig card in my z10. All photos and Albums go there. I use my phone as a ass storage device for work all the time. One device on the go. Love the z10. It is missing a few apps, but this phone crushes the iphone in so many ways. The Hub alone is amazing.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Bigjig:

Me too. I can't wait for BlackBerry10 to catch up to BBOS7 in terms of 'maturity of function'.

Welcome to BlackBerry.

So is this the beginning of the End? Just bought a Q10 on July 10th. Have I done my doe or no? Anyone any idea of Z10/Q10 sales numbers.

Usually it is a good idea to hold your stocks if a company is about to go private...the stock will take a jump up because people want to own the stock because whoever buys out the company usually buys the stock at a premium over what the market value is. If I'm not mistaken BBRY stock already jumped up 7+% at the opening of the market just because of this news.

The price is going up at the moment. A buyout usually requires incentives for the vote that would be required!

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Lenovo would be great as their customers are mostly professional and they have a huge distributors base.

Posted via CB10

Yes is what i suppose that happen.... Maybe the company will be buyout by the pension fund, gov and one big private investor.
Anyway will be listed at a better valuation.

That is probably the long term strategy. Again the US Government has ruled out the sale of BlackBerry due to security reasons. I believe going private will be approved, a license agreement would be approved, a strategic alliance perhaps, but the outright takeover by a foreign country no. I think in 3 years BlackBerry will emerge stronger than ever and surprise most people. The auto industry has bounced back and so can BlackBerry on the back of bb10.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

The US Government is a big client of BlackBerry, so if they pull their business then BlackBerry wouldn't look like such a good buy anymore. They could absolutely torpedo a sale.

BlackBerry Z10 | Verizon | 10.2.0.1047

Just saw Jim Cramer and so far he likes the announcement and sees it as positive. Trading is $10

Posted via CB10

Hey Kevin & Adam, My experience tells me that if there was demand for corporations to buy Blackberry then they (BB) would not have needed to say that in strategic options we are also looking for a sale of the company. Many potential buyers like HP, IBM etc would have approached BB and the deal would have been directly announced. There was no need for forming a special board etc etc. This could also be a way for BB to discover their fair share price and value of their company at current stage. Also this could be just noise as the September quarter could turn out to be worst than expected and customer attrition would have been beyond control affecting the service revenues. Also BB10 phones would be doing miserably bad. So may be at this point in time they made such a PR. Hadn't they done such a PR even before about strategic partnership etc? For me this is just noise and no big deal. For me the real deal would be HP coming out with an offer of $20 and IBM giving a counter $24. Thats what I would call as exciting.

Really? Tons of cash? HTC is going to spend a billion on advertising alone. BlackBerry HAD 3 billion cash but not paying all their bills just before they released their last numbers.

I hope someone takes them private and has money to burn. But that doesn't solve their dull plain thinking. Thor may be smart but he is very dull.

BlackBerry needs a rebirth and needs to completly rid itself of the Mike L mindset. It's still killing them.

Verizon Z10. Running 10.1.0.4651. Posted via CB10

My guess is, that they are looking for strong PC/NTB/Tablet producer so they can implement BBRY OS on their hw. They should not give up on phone hw, but definitely they should solve the other parts of mobile computing elswhere.

I think corporate customers will now hold off even longer, with the future of this company in doubt.

Somethings definitely happening they bottled it to go all out like mohicans.Private looks the option.But it doesn't change much still have to sell phones still just running away not standing up.What a mess.

i would like to see ASUS buy 'em out,,, left field i know, but they're known for great hardware,,, they may be what can get "10" off the ground...

No real mobile experience there, plus the whole foreign ownership thing may sink the deal with the Canadian government. Unless any buyout is from a North American or European based company there will be questions about whether the security approvals will remain. Even a Taiwanese company could pose questions with the stability of Taiwan in question thanks to China.

I'd look for a venture with a SaS company like IBM to provide an integrated MDM platform, as well as a potential hardware provider: like a lot of people my money is on Sony.

As i wrote on the previous headliner post on CrackBerry by Adam,

I would love to see them transform into a software and services company. No more hardware. Hardware especially in the mobile business is on such an aggressive refresh cycle, it's hurting the company and slowing down sales cause BlackBerry is not responding to market changes quick enough. The old adagio of 'It's good enough' no longer has merit and consumers want an phone that's completely ridiculous in specs whether BlackBerry likes it or not.

They should start licensing off BB10 to the big players (i'm looking at you Samsung, HTC and LG) so they don't have to lay their eggs in one basket. I'm sure they'll welcome the BB10 OS. Unfortunately BlackBerry is in a bad bargaining position but with enough willpower they'll get a profitable deal out of this.

In services, I fully suspect them to go head on with Skype as a VOIP solution, including landline hardware... again, without actually providing the hardware themselves, just the software and VOIP infrastructure.
BES services, BlackBerry CDN services, Mobile data compression, Mobile Fusion, there's so much profits to be had here I wonder why they waited so long.

For people concerning about build quality on hardware phones (especially keyboards), A special 'build for BlackBerry' hardware edition can be set up (see Windows Phone) that outlines the quality and specs of the hardware for BB10 phones. In addition, I don't see why they can't created a coalition of sorts to release BlackBerry hardware while not producing it themselves.

Moving on people. BlackBerry is doing just that.

Thor lied to its investors, I don't understand why they pushing this nonsense again waste money and time when he said in GM that he won't do it at this time again. The last time when company did this, they had a better cash position and higher subs and that resulted in nothing. So desperation might allow this company to be taken over for no or little premium over market price. Prem Watsa resignation only means he wants to take the company private. Since he is at a considerable loss holding millions of BBRY shares at an average of 17$. He will most likely lowball the price to cover his loss. This is terrible news for Blackberry fans and investors.

The best route for blackberry would have been to license their BB10 software to potential partners like Lenovo, Sony, Samsung... It's great platform, unfortunately Blackberry is clueless how to market it.

S.S. Blackberry is sinking by incompetence.

Because he averaged down many times,but he loves the company and said it would take 3 to 5 years to come around and was prepared to wait.He stepped aside and is willing to settle now,probably going to make 20%,he won't loose.

The problem is not the technology but rather the board and management team. Get rid of the bumblers, fumblers, mumblers and stumblers and the problem goes away.

They need to alliance either with Samsung or Sony. As far as sales go, they will be nil now until this situation is resolved. They need not have announced this type of news. Nice to be a private type of company.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

Going private kill BB immediately. The only few that benefit form it are the big share holders who bought it low like Prem. I think the majority of share holders will vote against going private.

How would going private help Blackberry? Are there any private companies competing in this market? No. The last, Palm, was under capitalized and was dead by the time HP bought them. The same will happen to Blackberry if this is the course they chose.

Sad

Let's just hope they make some good plays with the route they decide. I for one don't want me

Posted via CB10

They can pull through this. As Thorsten said, they're still in the middle of a transition. Don't sell the company, that will kill BlackBerry as we know it.

To see BlackBerry go anywhere! And Wallstreet has been hacking away for years, BlackBerry I know you'll prevail!

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is not dead or a Company which needs to exit. Good products, excellent systems, marketable hardware, loyalty of many BlackBerry users and most importantly company with cash resources to strategise and move forward. A joint venture with a good company to move forward would be good. Sony with Nokia will surely make BlackBerry a Group to take on the competition for years to come. Let us hope common sense and good tactical moves with long term strategy make all this possible.

Posted via CB10

I would like Fairfax to say it is increasing its position in the company and it should start buying up all of the stock from people who are not long.

This might put an end to the low stock prices by forcing a short squeeze.

As I said, I did not take all of this risk for a small gain.

BlackBerry as a stand alone company is about to be over. The board and both the previous and current management has failed to execute anything in a timely manor. Now some entity is going to get BBRY for cheap. Investors at least will get something as their isn't a Bankruptcy involved, but unless you got your shares at the $5 level I wouldn't expect a profit!

Hey BlackBerry, GO PRIVATE!

It is bad enough to have the Tech Press unfairly bashing BlackBerry. If you go private at least we won't get bashed by the financial press every quarter.

Z10 on T-Mobile, 32 GB PlayBook - Posted via CrackBerry 10

I'd like to see the Canada Pension Plan buy them, keep them Canadian. The government would approve this in 5 seconds. Keep producing qwerty phones under the Blackberry brand, license out the OS (with security oversight) to maybe Sony, and keep the lucrative BES backend stuff.

I am very much for BlackBerry going private. And even partnering with and licensing. I just want BlackBerry to exist and for the phones to exist. Less bad press the better but I an against BlackBerry becoming a software only company. Oh stress :(

Posted with ma delicious Z10 or ma yummy Q10

You are an idiot. Going private kills BB immediately. Enterprise customers drop BB and shutdown BES servers immediately.

Well they are already going in the direction of Android. Partner up with Google because BB10 is basically already running Android. If you can't beat them, join them! This is a sad day...

For me personally as a shareholder, going private would be a disaster since I am so far underwater on the stock that I would definitely take a big loss. For the company, going private does allow BB some room to breath from a media perspective; however, I think a strategic alliance(s) make more sense to help scale up the business.

Going private gives no room to breath. Rather kills bb immediately because enterprise and government customers shutdown BES servers immediately. Trust and public scrutiny is at the core of BB's value.

Going private in the hands of Canadians is the best choice. Especially with Prem in the mix. The price of the buyout needs to be around $16 to $18 to satisfy most investors.

Posted via CB10

Going private gives no room to breath. Rather kills bb immediately because enterprise and government customers shutdown BES servers immediately. Trust and public scrutiny is at the core of BB's value.

What is the strategy in announcing such a committee? To my small mind, this in itself is a bad move, much as it was last year. A strategy of being honest with information, but being silent on alternative options would be better. Now everyone will be nervous. Bad move. BlackBerry needs to realise that even being fourth in a huge market is not terrible, especially if a niche business market can be sustained. Don't create panic now, of all times!

Posted via CB10

I'm extremely frustrated. I invested a lot of money in the company before the original Bold was released and since then it's been a nightmare just trying to lower my break even point.

In short, I think they finally released the right product to compete with iOS, Android and Windows Phone, but they waited too long to get it to market. This company might be in much better shape had they executed on the PlayBook OS and BB10 a year or 2 sooner.

CISCO or IBM would be excellent choices for partnerships or even as potential buyers who can really make BlackBerry 10 thrive quickly. However, Sony would be an even bigger & possibly better partner and potential buyer. They have top quality hardware already, could give Sony a huge push into the U.S. mobile market, big entry into the corporate & governmental markets for Sony through BlackBerry, plus with BlackBerry's ownership of QNX, Sony could also reign over the automotive industry. It would also give Sony the opportunity to diversify their product OS's between Android & BB10, and give Sony the chance to rival Samsung. Also, with Sony having its own gaming platform, it could even take on Windows and their XBox integration into WP8.

Obviously, since I'm a big BlackBerry lover & addict, and a shareholder, I want BlackBerry to make it on their own. I want the future they gave us a glimpse of to come to fruition, but I also don't want to loose them for good. I still think they could turn around, but there are still many big changes that need to be made, and quickly to succeed.

Posted via CB10 / BlackBerry Z10

Wait for Q10 sales to be reported. This is the real flagship, you can not make a decision until its sales have been reported.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry doesn't need to wait for reports to know how their own devices are selling...they make the reports! If they are doing this before the results come out then it might mean that sales of even the Q10 might not of been as good as they had hoped and are afraid that when they report the next quarter at a loss (again) then it will just destroy the company and make it THAT much harder to sell or go private then.

Sorry, I can report this to you now. Q10 sales is 1/3 of Z10.

But don't panic. TH made the mistake to push Q10 rather than Z10. He paid the tuition and learned. So, no more such mistake. BB will turn around.

Lets see a Prem Watsa , Elon Musk Private Investors with a Sony partnership investment with a Govt blessing with a CPP investment . Then a quick takeout of SWIR by the consortium . Then the shorts will cave in !! Lookout M2M a well financed Blackberry coming your way !!

Going private gives no room to breath. Rather kills bb immediately because enterprise and government customers shutdown BES servers immediately. Trust and public scrutiny is at the core of BB's value.

Isn't HP looking into phones in the near future? I know Leo screwed Palm! I owned a pre, pre2 and pre3. HP was hell to us thay loved those phones but their Android look isn't panning out with their recent Slate pad. They have new board members and a new leader. What do you think?

Posted via CB10

Stick with it give it another 6 months let's see how it does with 10.2 and bbm going cross platform. These board guys have no faith all they see is dollar signs, and yes I have stocks in bb, but I want to see it rise again. They do need a tablet and a pc version of bbm

Posted via CB10

Also, it's only been 7 months for the lucky ones and less than 6 months for USA, give it a proper year let's see how many people come back from those that have contracts expiring

Posted via CB10

Partnership is the best alternative than sale or going private. Going private doesn't solve the problem just to keep the company away from the public eyes. Face the problem now for the better future. Sale the company I don't think they get much for the company.

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