Roundup and commentary on news around BlackBerry’s strategic alternatives discussion

By Chris Umiastowski on 14 Aug 2013 02:30 pm EDT
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Early Monday morning things started off with a bang. BlackBerry announced that it’s board of directors had established a special committee to look at strategic alternatives including a possible sale of the company. I already discussed the matter briefly here and also here.

I’ve been reading lots of the other news stories and watching some of the video clips. I notice that pretty much every headline says something like, “BlackBerry Posts a For Sale Sign” or whatever variation you want. It’s evident that the media is entirely focused on the idea that BlackBerry is up for sale.

When a company puts out a press release saying that it is exploring strategic alternatives, most financial experts know that it’s usually code for “we’re for sale.”  That’s absolutely true. And it’s also true that last May, when the company first announced its exploration of strategic alternatives it never said it was looking at an outright sale. Thorsten Heins said everything was on the table, but a sale was certainly not the priority. This time around, the possibility of a sale was clearly stated.

It’s evident that the media is entirely focused on the idea that BlackBerry is up for sale

But we shouldn’t forget that that the entire purpose of this strategic review is to accelerate the rollout of BlackBerry 10. The specific wording of their release is, “to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.”

How to you accomplish a scale increase?  I don’t think going private is the way to do it. Instead, it just takes shares from a diverse shareholder base and puts them in the hands of a few private owners. Unless such a deal had other synergies (i.e. Silver Lake somehow seeing value in a deal between Dell and BlackBerry, which has bee pointed out but isn’t at all logical to me), privatization doesn’t do anything to accelerate BB10.

This brings us to another major focus area of the media. Most articles have pointed to Prem Watsa’s resignation from the board as a sign that he intends to put together a bid to take BlackBerry private. And he may be planning to do exactly that. But the rest of the board may feel going private is not the right plan. It’s easy to print a headline connecting the dots, but that doesn’t mean we have solid evidence of  privatization transaction.

Next up we have the Canadian Pension Plan. How many headlines have we seen saying that the CPP is interested in taking BlackBerry private?  Too many. And every headline that says this is doing a horrible job of re-reporting on what Bloomberg said. From what I can gather, Bloomberg called up the CPP and the chief executive of the pension plan said, “It’s safe to say that any large deal in Canada or elsewhere is something that we would make sure we took a hard look at ... you could say that about any asset.”

Ringing endorsement of a privatization deal?  Of course not. He’s providing an adequate answer to a journalist who was doing his job by calling to inquire about any potential interest. He never even said he’s aware of any go-private efforts.

Bloomberg has also said that JP Morgan and RBC have been quietly contacting potential buyers since May 2012 with no interest. So I can understand why people believer a privatization deal might take place. But I can also see how it’s more likely that BlackBerry form a JV or other strategic partnership instead of a full outright sale.

Who might they strike a deal with?  I wish I knew. But I still feel like they aren’t going private and they are unlikely to be sold in one piece. As always, I reserve the right to be totally wrong. 

Topics: BBRY Editorial

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Roundup and commentary on news around BlackBerry’s strategic alternatives discussion

225 Comments

+1 keep jobs here like AMD did when they bought ATi. It's great they kept the jobs here but it's no longer a Canadian company. I just hope BlackBerry can ride this out and start seeing some profits slowly come in so these investors can F" off! Just dont want BlackBerry ending up like Nortel :( U.S has so many tech companies and Canada has so little. And whatever tech companies are left they get bought up by a foreign company (American) or go bankrupt. And then are stupid government always talking about how we need to stay competitive with the world but I don't see them helping out. Look at all these all countries (south Korea, Brazil) to name a few that there government s help by investing money and for research and development to be competitive. Hope BlackBerry can ride this out.

Posted via CB10

I think BB just wrote off 565 million dollars of tax and this was because the CDN Gov allows for such write offs if the money spent was for R&D"

Great comments...why can we not be great tech leaders..small, intelligent population with a large country. We have everything we need to be the number one business locale for innovation.

Yes I remember and will always remember. Canada's broken dream! That was a chance for Canada to be a leader in the aerospace field. That plane was so ahead of its time!

Posted via CB10

But the Canadian Government did not want to upset the US Government so they killed the Avro Arrow like boot-licking, submissive, witless buffoons.

Agree!

Don't see the benefit at this point of a buyout... wait a few months and BBRY might be much cheaper. Of course it also might not be worth as much if the spend a big chunk of money between now and then.

I really think BlackBerry would love some help by another big Tech Company to partner with them in some way. But I think they have been stating that they were open to such a partnership for almost a year now... with no takers.

I think it would be a good idea to give him a call ,after all ,he is the Chancellor of Waterloo University.Does anyone actually think this whole thing is going to be the end of BB?

Might go with partnership. But if things still go sour, would more likely end up with selling everything.

Posted via CB10

"Going private" is most likely. As Chris pointed out, if a partnership were to happen it would have happened by now.

Hope it all pans out to the benefit of Canadians, current BlackBerry employees and most importantly the supporters of BlackBerry.
I don't care if KFC buys them..bottom line BB10 is an amazing and solid platform and it is the foundation of the future of mobile communication.

Posted via CB10

I don't think KFC will buy BBRY. There isn't even a KFC app.
But sure could use some fried chicken right now. If only there was an app to order it and have it delivered to my desk.

speaking of KFC why doesn't they have an app for BlackBerry. If they don't get their act together by next month, I'm going to quit buying popcorn chicken from them. Darn those popcorn chicken are so delicious. Anyway, ya KFC you heard me. A KFC build-for-BlackBerry app or you'll lose one customer.

I'm hoping on a partnership with Sony for hardware, okay for a tablet... More important for growth is BB10 licensing for at least two other phone makers such as HTC, Sony or??

Posted via a laser focused BB10 device

Me to... then I can keep my shares too...
If this is announced I see a nice pop in price… Sadly I was going to buy more shares at about 9.5 last week but planned to hold off until this past Tuesday, and then Monday’s announcement messed up my plans – Sitting on the side lines for now…

Ok 10.2 is a terrific platform finally. If BlackBerry can properly market the Z30 as a S4 competitor that can run all the apps it can + blackberry security and BBM wrapped around the new 10.2 user experience they have a second shot of creating a buzz. Market the crap out of their high end product and let that trickle down the product line. Focus the marketing message on the value and awesomeness of the experience rather than on the tech. E.g. Instead of the message being we have a "keyboard that gets to know you" (creepy!) the message should be "single handedly message clients faster than you can open up your app on Android." (but much more marketing savvy) Focus the message on the experience not the tech nouns or boring facts. Wow me with how BB10.2 can make my life better, easier and more exciting.

Posted via CB10

I agree with you 100% but they could have done all that with launch of the Z10. Doing it now with the z30 would make no difference marketing wise. With what we've learned so far the z30 can't stand toe to toe with the s4 so gunning for it in advertisements would be pointless.

Posted via CB10

I see your point about image. That is something they need to overcome with some agreessive marketing. As for the other comment about apps I think the runtime in 10.2 allows for all Android apps to be easily converted or sideloaded. I think that needs to be very loud and clear in the marketing to the public.
I can see how the overall ecosystem can be improved. Perhaps a partnership with someone like Amazon could address this issue?

Barring a strategy shift BB won't be marketing the possibility of Android sideloading. If they wanted Android apps to be a bigger part of the BB10 marketing pitch, they'd pair that message with an official, mass market consumer-friendly way of doing it.

Of course, considering a strategy shift is certainly in the cards right now...

Z30 does not compete toe to toe with much out there today in terms or specs. I luv 10.2 and my Q10 & Z10 but will no longer support BB with dollars as they keep sending out the wrong message to the marketplace. It's like they are schizophrenic, lack confidence and above all can not deliver a state of the art product(s) quickly, but always talk that its coming. Always behind the curve, no pun intended, but apropos.

I just ordered the Sony Xperia Z ultra and have their z tablet (best tablet on the market, by the way) loving it even though TH says tablets are passe. What a bunch of bunk, passe for TH only. Another comment that just does not cut it! Just because they blew the Playbook, does not mean tablets are dead and if they are, tell us why.

Because everyone is putting words in his mouth.. He never claimed that Tablets were complete crap and there was no use for them.. He simply stated that it made no sense for BlackBerry to support the tablet industry as it's pointless.. Apple is the only one making any kind of money on tablets, and the android tablet manufacturers are making pennies on the dollar.. It's simply not worth it and was a good call by him. Jesus people.. Blow everything out of proportion...

No one is putting words anywhere, u are just believers in forgotten words. This is the quote.
"In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," according to the CEO. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."

BECAUSE!! Tablets are NOT a good business model for BlackBerry! Same reason I mentioned before.. in 5 years whatever phone you have will easily be able to wirelessly connect to a monitor or handheld "tablet like" monitor not running an OS extremely easily and your phone will be the tablet OS.. tablets will always exist, but they will change in they way that they do. BlackBerry will be in "that" tablet game, just not the current one...

Apparently there is not much that is a good business model for BB as they are failing on all fronts, regardless of whether I like the product and "have been" a fool-hearted believer. You need to take your head out of that hole in the ground. They failed miserably with the tablet, no question and therefore they don't have a clue about what is applicable. Just what have they got right since 2010? Come on big boy tell me? And by the way 5 years is a long time for BB, doubt they will be around and they certainly will "not" be in "that" tablet game, yet alone the "phone" game. But that's just my opinion regarding a company that cannot gauge market sentiment or execute a plan without losing more and more customers.
This company is not relevant, and continues to be less relevant everyday. So there!

Yes agreed. It currently makes little sense having two mobile devices with separate CPUs that are different only due to screen size but we have to live with it as technology has not provided too many alternatives except maybe google glass which is in its infancy. In 5 years, yes I agree that we may be able carry a portable monitor around and connect it to the small phone device as needed and use its CPU and data. Also fixed devices in general may be on the outs by then because there may be flexible expandable devices and mature augmented hud systems like glass. I think people are misinterpreting what TH meant.

Wouldn't it make sense for TH to say nothing rather than say things that may be misinterpreted. After all they are only shooting themselves in the foot and there is already to much negativity around this company,

We know what words Thorsten used in his statement about tablets being dead in five years. You are the spinmeister Flip4Bytes. :-)

So if you know the words said and don't disagree, then why would I be the spinmeister. The controversy created has been recounted hundreds of times through the news media and internet. It only made BB and TH look dumb and no game plan was ever espoused to support the comment. Just wild speculation that only hurt the company and it's investment community. Management regardless of who they are should be accountable for their statements. Because of the negativity created many supporters inferred that the statements were taken out of context. But words don't lie and you cannot spin them to mean something else. So who is the spindocter here I ask!

And here we go Again........BB needs Android Apps to be relevant.
I'm I the only one that see how stupid this is ?
This is one the main reasons I got rid of my Z10 long ago. BB needs to establish NOT only it's image of a good Software and Hardware Company but they MUST do something about it's Apps issues. Firing people , developers ,talent, is not going to make you any better. They needed to do more to push developers to work on there platform instead of hiring Alecia Keys.
As much as BB users criticize Android , by GOD thank goodness they exist otherwise could you imagine how many Apps BB would have ?

Marketing is their main problem. I went on vodafone website today to enquire about 4G which is coming the end of August and looked through the list of 4G ready phones - not a Blackberry in sight!!! Most people aren't even aware that Blackberry have a new range of phones available and they are not being pushed by the providers.

Posted via CB10

Here is their new slogan: "Back in Black"

As in, "I've never been able to text this quickly - I'm Back in Black!"

Or

All my messages in one place?! - I'm Back in Black"

Or

"With a Web browser this fast, who needs an app, I just go to the mobile site. - I'm Back in Black!

Cue... AC/DC theme song....

Posted via CB10

Agreed. I do like te focus on the sentence about BB10 roll-out though.

Posted via CB10 on my Q10

I still think Amazon would be a good fit, and I think one piece would work there too as I think there are a lot of synergies. Some of the other potential suitors certainly seem more likely to either dismantle everything or only take parts and sell the rest.

In my mind, what BB needs is a boost in reputation (in the US mainly), and money for marketing (including educating and convincing carrier sales people that BB is a viable product).

Amazon please buy BlackBerry out. I'm a one of your biggest Prime customers. This marriage will be perfect for me.

Everyone knows Amazon already has their own phone plans underway. It's one of the worst kept tech secrets out there. And at this point, those plans are an Android fork. It would be unlikely for Amazon to so fundamentally stop and redo their plans at this point.

I doubt it will be split up. Everything is integrated tightly and worth more together. In this case 1 + 1 equals 3, and not just 2.

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

Doesn't the "code" that they up for sale kinda stop any progress with developers for apps. They might look at this and say well i'm not gonna waste my time in making any apps. It hurts the ecosystem they might want to use in a partnership situation. Which makes me think that they are going to use the m2m capabilities of blackberry 10 and not the phone side of things anymore. My other prediction is partner with samsung... m2m with all their home appliances, got the cars, and if they perfect the android player then they still have an "android" phone they have an app store too sooo...oh and they are stepping into enterprise with knox so now they own blackberry stuff with that as well. Watch its going to be Samsung.

I don't see any reason blackberry should have to go private. I honestly think nothing should change I do understand if they partner with companies for limited runs. I'm just happy blackberry is its own company at the moment and hope it continues.

Posted via CB10

The truth is this is going to take some time. The main problem is people will not buy phones with this news. I hope that they get picked up and continue on like a Motorola but that is very wishful thinking.

The real interest will be the next earnings report and just how bad it is, Thor said it would be a lose already but now this makes one wonder.

Moving on I hope BBM is successful in going cross platform and that brings value to the company. The Z30 looks amazing but let's be honest it won't see a ton as everyday people don't want to associate themselves with BlackBerry for some reason

Posted via Z10

Agree that nobody will buy the phones now. In consumer tech sales its all about future proofing. Really bad launch and marketing, poor market acceptance, now they stick a fork in it by saying "we can't sell these things, would someone's please buy us, so that we can get our money out"

Seriously, why in the world would anyone in their right mind buy one of these phones?

Uhh.. Because they are still excellent devices..?

Call me crazy, but I (just as most of my friends and family) do not purchase a phone based on company politics.. They purchase a phone based on how well it fits their needs, and believe it or not, my entire family has purchased Z10s and Q10s.

If BlackBerry somehow vanished a year from now, I'd still be using my Z10, as I personally have tried Android, iOS, and WP8, and they do not allow me to get the work done that I want to get done, in the way I want to get it done. The BlackBerry OS has always understood my needs and because of that, I'm sticking with their phones, with, or without the company.

" as I personally have tried Android, iOS, and WP8, and they do not allow me to get the work done that I want to get done, in the way I want to get it done. "
I'm curious , what is it exactly that you can do on a BB Z10 that you can not do on any other platform from the other Phone Makers ?
I really think your just having a hard time with this and while I admire your loyalty to BB , there is no way I see what your saying as even remotely true. If anything you can do things on the Other platforms (especially Android ) that can not do with a BB.

Are you serious..? What I said was said ENTIRELY based in preference, and you are trying to question it..? I said I can't work done in the WAY that I WANT to get work done.. which is an entirely 100% personal preference piece. After relying on the HUB and BBM Groups as much as I have for my business, Android, iOS, and WP8 have nothing like it that I can simply switch over to. I don't care about how many apps the other platforms have necessarily.. when I want to get WORK done, I just go over to the HUB and mark everything off. You can't tell me that the other platforms are better with emailing, texting, and organizing, because that would just be a lie, but either way, it's my personal preference. Until another platform gets a fully integrated inbox for all of my social networks, 10+ email accounts, texts, calls, and BBM messages, I can't possibly switch over.

Sorry if this isn't a 'good enough' reason for you, but you simply do not understand how much I rely on my HUB on a daily basis.

- Developer of 'Web Design Cheat Sheet' for BB10 (Posted via CB10)

uups Somebody hit a nerve. lol. How did you get work done 7 months ago before Blackberry had the hub?

I do agree with you though. All this is personal preference.

I know that a being open to a sale has been mentioned previously, as it is now, but to me it shakes customer confidence. Particularly that of enterprise customers.

There are no guarantees that the potential buyer won't gut the company. That makes upgrading to BB10, along with a BES10, a risky proposition for any enterprise customer.

Stating that you are looking at strategic partnerships is fine, stating that you are looking at going private is fine, but putting yourself up for sale does not instill customer confidence.

Posted via CB10

If they go private they can stop reporting financial results every quarter, avoid the terrible media that is destroying the company, and have some breathing room to continue their turnaround plan. It will give them the stability they need to engage in the JV they need even more. No one is going to do a JV with the company right now when people think they aren't going to live to see another year.

Posted from my Q10 on the West Coast

Anything Thornton says i'd take with a grain of salt.

Pretty much saying a sale was not the priority equates to me that it's up there on the list of priorities. Just like BB10 coming to playbook...read between the lines.

Posted via CB10

Get over the PlayBook. They tried and it wasn't up to providing the BB10 experience.

Posted via CB10

They knew that from Day 1, that was just a marketing ploy to sell off all the remaining Stock . That is all that was. Think what you will but the people invested in BB do not care what you the Consumer thinks or wants. They are concerned there investment and making sure they do not lose out, even it that means lying about something to spur sales of the playbook so as not to get stuck with a loss.

A partnership with financial backing would definitely help jump start bb10. Not enough people know of BlackBerry turning things around much less know the current Z and Q exist. Everyone still thinks I use an iPhone but when they look they ask and are surprised to see such a beautiful phone. People love the screen and Apple users think it's an Apple knick off. Chris is there hope for a partnership that can jump start this amazing OS BlackBerry 10? If so how much muscle will be needed?

Posted via CB10

Panasonic partnered with QNX to provide software platform for car infotainment systems worldwide and Samsung partnered with BlackBerry to market BBM in Africa. It's entirely possible that there might be parties interested in partnering with BlackBerry to provide secure M2M services to enterprise organizations and Government agencies.

I believe the cpp guy actually said "you could say that about that particular asset", not "any asset"

Chris, I'm with you regarding this one. I don't see they go private nor sale the company. They needed some companies that have deep pocket and more influence to help push out the BB10 software.

I've told you before, they're working with Samsung.
Check the security camera footage (you can hack them since they're running old firmware) and you'll recognise some of the faces using the service entrance, even under their disguise.

Sent from my Z30/3

I'm going with what was said in other places, it wasn't sold at $6, who wants it at $10?
Have faith BlackBerry users, it's far from over.
We have the best devices.

A Z10 Post on CB10

"JV or partnership" : my thoughts, exactly. Thanks for this Chris !
And the more I read announcements, releases and I put all the gathered (non) wording from BB about MS ...
Ok, ok. Nothing to back it up. Still my fav, doesn't mean the more obvious.

The disappointing thing for me is that they have been quietly looking into this for more than a year already with no good options yet. I could see benefits in buying Blackberry for Samsung, Apple, or Microsoft. And I could see partnership benefits for Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, IBM, or Cisco. My hope is that the Monday announcement is a prelude to a big announcement in a few weeks.

BB10 is at least proving adequate,... and perhaps even quite good!! So I think that big companies are starting to think about this more and more. Buying Blackberry would give them a new and powerful mobile OS that is still in the early stages of development.

Last May, TH may have said a sale wasn't a priorty but he never ruled it out.
This is not a big deal, just a public statement of intent.

Chris I agree with you 100 percent. I have a. Gut feeling you will see BlackBerry make a push to license the BB10 platform to other phone manufacturers HTC is most likely in my mind or Sony. The market is saturated with ios and android phones and there is plenty of room for BB10 and WP. I believe it is important that BlackBerry begins rebuilding the Brand by letting quality device makers (HTC) use the platform.

Posted via CB10

I agree with this view. So many Android devices out there that it becomes difficult for a handset manufacturer to differentiate themselfs from the next Android device.

With Google making their own handsets (first the Nexus Line, then MotoX), Samsung may be looking for an alternate platform in case they get shut out by Google.

This is an option that could bare fruit.

looking forward, this would be a smart approach for the many hardware manufacturers finding it hard to distinguish themselves from others within the android ecosystem.

lets hope someone has the balls to make that strategic play soon, then others may follow after.

It is probably going to happen that way. I think you guys are right and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that way.

Posted via CB10

What will we see in units shipped at the coming quarters conference call. Did Z sales fall off the face of the Earth, that Q sales are not going to matter. Will Subs show a decline in losses. Are they going to have to write down inventory, not 6 months into the launch. I am very worried, that this company will spiral down quickly come the earnings report. Given that the high end of the smartphone market has stalled. All the oxygen has been sucked out of the room on Monday. Talk of the end of year products new 10.2 has dried up. Silence coming on the app front, nobody from BB speaking about q10 sales or anything. I know they are probably on lock down, but do they have anything really exciting to say anyways. It's a difficult time for BB users

Samsung. My bet. They want an I'D AND an MDM tool (thus the creation of Samsung Knox)

Having sold BES for 10 years I can tell everyone it is very quiet out in that space. People are frozen. And this week won't help.

Posted via CB10

What I have yet to hear is what are the possible outcomes if all of this is for naught. Blackberry doesn't go private, or partners up, or gets sold? What are the possible consequences for all this ado if it becomes nothing?

Is the mantra of "Keep Moving" not an outcome?

So many people are talking as if this is doom and gloom for BlackBerry. I don't think BlackBerry will select a strategy where it ends up being broken up and sold for parts. And I don't think a potential buyer will see the value of the parts as being greater than the whole. Let's consider the parts:

Patents portfolio
Handset/hardware business
BES10.1
BlackBerry10 OS
BlackBerry's secure network
BBM
QNX
$3B in cash.
70 million legacy OS5/6/7 subscribers generating just under $1B/year.

BES10 will benefit from the soon cross-platform BBM. Companies who implement BES10 for MDM will be able to send managed and secure messages within the organization.

QNX Car, BES and BBM rely on BlackBerry's secure network. QNX Cars will have the potential to communicate securely to the owner, manufacturer, or emergency services. (nobody wants their car hacked for safety reasons and there's no network more secure than BB's)

The handset business relies on BlackBerry 10 OS.

BlackBerry10 OS needs the BBRY secure network, BBM, and QNX.

None of the parts would exist without the BB's patents. (If they sell the patents, they'd have to licence them back which makes no sense at this point, unless they were desperate for cash, which they aren't at this time.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is, most of the components are very integrated (and becoming even more integrated as BBRY finally developes products and services that take advantage of the synergies of the various components) and it would be very difficult to carve up the company and sell the pieces. The only components I see that can be easily carved out are the legacy subscriber base and the handset business. However, even though the legacy subscriber base is in decline, it's a profitable and high margin component. But the handset business is competitive, low margin, a marketing nightmare.

Conclusion:
I'm guessing licensing deals are in the works.

I hear all this stuff about QNX yet I have yet to see it anywhere. If they are so hot in their markets just how much revenue do they contribute to BB? And where can I see it in a real world application?

Many cars already have QNX controlling the digital displays in them. The only thing you don't see is a QNX logo. This is one of the things I always thought QNX should do - get their logo on display somewhere, maybe at least when the car starts.

Ok...what cars? And where else is QNX? And how much revenue do they contribute? What is the market share they have in the car market? It seems from all the hype I have read that they are the leader and also used in many other types of application, but to what end, what share and again to what revenue amount? Just asking!

BlackBerry bought QNX for reported $200 million was supposed to be 4x their earnings at that time. Even if BlackBerry significantly improved their performance their contribution to the bottom line is not significant by itself.

QNX really only has value to BlackBerry if they can make something out of it they didn't have before. BB10 was supposed to be the start of that, so far one can say it's not been embraced by buyers around the world. We keep watching and waiting on BlackBerry bringing their "concept" of mobile computing to fruition. Hopefully that bears fruit before the cash runs out.

I can't understand privatisation, as an option, unless BlackBerry pulls out of the consumer hardware market, or hardware altogether - becoming services only. Perhaps they offer bb10 on enterprise class devices, along with bes et all.

JV as an option - better. Of course who wants to partner with BlackBerry? Panasonic and qnx, for car entertainment systems, makes sense. Someone and BlackBerry for bb10 delivery... no one is buying bb10 on BlackBerry phones, why would they buy them on sony or HTC or samsung or Asus or lenovo or whoever?

I am seriously disappointed with TH and the board, on how this has all turned out.

I don't have any answers - personally I smell an impending break up of the company, by an outside investor. The patents, assets, nice BlackBerry treasure chest of bes subs, noc and everything - that goes and the rest is scuttled.

BlackBerry is not viable for the consumer market, unless someone is willing to spend a lot of cash, and gamble on trends reversing. Not ready, yet. And for enterprise it's still not there yet.

The board have a lot of explaining to do.

And this is not going to build confidence in anyone looking to move to BlackBerry. Sure, they're covered for a couple of years, on their SLAs but for a long term or short term...

The board need to answer for this.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

That would also be great! In my opinion. Forgot about that QNX / Panasonic announcement.

Either way. I want to see BlackBerry 10 and the hardware they make remain as an available option in the market, regardless of what occurs.

Posted via CB10

The best option for bbry is a major partnership and/sale to Microsoft. The reason being of course is the already large business and government penetration that MS has all over the world. MS would buy purely for the BES and the patents. They would then combine all of those features and bundle/license. For hardware Dell would be the logical choice. Plus I do not see that the Canadian /American governments would ever allow bbry to go under nor be sold to a business in a country where security is an issue. Certainly Apple and Google would gain for the same reason that MS would. Apple already makes their own hardware adding the BES would be beneficial. Likewise for Google.

Sony would be a good partnership in my opinion. Bring BlackBerry to Japan and expand on the consumer front with a PlayStation presence on BlackBerry devices and a BlackBerry presence on Sony devices, etc...

HTC is in a bad position right now, but I have always thought they make decent hardware. Sony and BlackBerry have more to offer one another in the form of a partnership though. Licensing BlackBerry 10 to HTC (as well as whomever else) and partnering with Sony could work too. LoL.

Fisher Price is also looking at entering the youth wireless market, but a partnership with Tonka seems more likely because of how they both (BlackBerry and Tonka) are more business / gitterdun oriented. This part of my post could be a joke, who knows though, hey? Never know. More bizarre things have occured.

Lenovo, if they weren't so China'd out, would be a pretty good partnership too, because of Lenovo and BlackBerry's existing corporate presence. I also believe Lenovo makes good products, even though the future is all mobile computing (shouldn't even be two words, computing is mobile computing...) and I believe there is no big future in making laptops, only now, during this "status quo" phase when the "big guys" still want to push out as many devices they make like laptops and desktops as possible - even though the future is all mobile all the time. No diggidy.

I'm just a babbling on. Who cares I guess. Having "faith" isn't very real anyways. I hope BlackBerry stays BlackBerry, but at the end of the day, the world works in mysterious ways. They've built a fantastic new platform with a series of really nice devices, just not sure if BlackBerry is even meant for consumers. Not sure if they shouldn't just go private and do their thing. Whatever the case is, I don't have any control over what they do. I can just hope they stay BlackBerry and remain Canadian. I guess that's old school thinking in a way. Whatever. I want the people who work there to stay working there, in Canada or where ever else. It's a crying shame what's happening, really it is.

I bet BlackBerry could make 7+ billion BlackBerry 10 phones, give every human on the planet a free device and people would still complain and want them to be broken down or sold. Just a disgrace really.

Posted via CB10

The problem with Sony is that Sony too is seen as a loser. Especially in smartphones.

The headline would ready "Two Losers Prepare to Die" - and that's the message the competition would be promoting.

Everything in our world is virtual. Reality is unimportant if you can sell an image.

BlackBerry and Sony, the two biggest punching bags in tech.

I think Sony is quietly making a slight comeback in the phone area. I expect to see some more success from them actually.

Thanks for the laughs though!! Hahahahaha! That was hilarious. I'm serious. Hahaha :)

Posted via CB10

That perception has changed with their Z series...leader now and as well with the PlayStation. They are making a comeback, so BB should be able to do the same, right?. Sometimes lessons are hard to learn and the arrogance just has to disappear. Like this board, love the great posts, patriotism as I like to believe as well, but the arrogance is truly amazing.

As hard as it's been for BlackBerry in the USA its been even harder for Sony. At least BlackBerry is in the back of the store. With the exception of the ZL on AT&T do any USA carriers even stock Sony smartphones in their stores at the moment?

I fully believe in the original agenda of rebuilding the company and sticking it out for the longer term. Remaining just BlackBerry - a mobile computing - wait - a computing company would be ideal. They really do have something extremely special with BlackBerry 10 which is why I believe it should become more heavily adopted as a serious option in the market. BlackBerry 10 devices truly are ideal life accessories and find it difficult to believe we live in a time when most people simply cannot recognise that for whatever reason or form of mental blindness. Really weird to me. Are people who have an understanding of how good BlackBerry 10 is a real rarity? Is common sense a rare feature these days? Yes.

Posted via CB10

"Mobile computing?" Just exactly what does that mean and who is a good example of a successful approach?

Chris, I have aired this opinion elsewhere and I will repeat it here - first, I agree with you that $BBRY is not for sale. This whole move of Watsa moving out signals to me that $BBRY has taken off its velvet gloves now. At this time, Watsa through his financial prowess is better off outside $BBRY than being on the inside. I see Watsa, CPP (and other Canadian funds) are like watch dogs watching over these hedge funds and keeping them at bay - enough is enough.

Last but not the least, if you watch Hasting Singh's interview on Bloomberg - which he gave before Q4 2013 results were reported - he clearly states that the board will announce partnerships in two quarters. A while back Thorsten had also made a passing remark that Blackberry cannot reach the scale that Samsung can achieve - with the "scaling of BB10" coming into the strategic review I think something is happening which could involve Samsung or some such big player. Samsung suddenly withdrew all the Knox related ads and pulled back the release of Knox based Android phones. I believe that Sony and HP/IBM/Cisco may also factor in somehow (Sony from the consumer side and HP/IBM/Cisco from the enterprise side of things).

Well it could be the fact Knox is still vapourware and doesn't do the primary thing Balance does - fix the security of Android. It's better than say Good Technology and their secure container (that every MDM is copying) but it impacts the functionality and usablity of the device.

The issue is the same one since iOS and Android hit the market. OEM and MDM cannot do what Blackberry / BES does as they are limited by the API Apple and Google control. Blackberry controls the whole stack, even the NOC which transports (and secures) the data.

Samsung would be a reach but I think they see there is limited enterprise interest in Android, they'd need to work with a host of MDM which have varied adoption. Blackberry is STILL used in almost every fortune 500 company so it would open up their hardware sales (phone and tablet) to a huge market that is still working through much of this. a S4 and Galaxy tablet running BB10 with Balance would be a nice setup. I don't think Samsung wants to take on being a software and service provider, they must know Google is going to change the game on Android so if a deal with Blackberry can further their cause .... people are not in love with Android the OS, they love Android the hardware and large screens. The OS can be skinned.

HP is not going to gamble, they'll be content with an Android device and try and push that with a MDM solution

Cisco has an MDM but would need BES to supprt BB10 and don't think they want to take on being a hardware vendor (see their failed tablet thing).

IBM is never going into the hardware business, they are consulting, services and support.

Microsoft is an outside chance but they have enough going on with Windows 8 and fixing that platform.

Apple's too arrogant to even bother unless they can pick and choose what they want in a fire sale.

I currently have an iphone, and have been looking to switch to a Q10 for awhile. I enjoy Crackberry and it's obvious to me Blackberry has strengths and innovative tendencies the current monopolies (Apple/Samsung/Google) do not. My problem is the uncertainty ! I would hate to buy a Q10, get a 2 year contract, and then find out the next day that Apple bought Blackberry and the innovation I love is being co-opted. Decisions, decisions.

Go for it - the Q10 is a fantastic device and using the keyboard is like hooking up with the girl that got away in high school.

I disagree. Week after week I read and hear negative commentary on BlackBerry. What the commentary says is "BlackBerry is dead", over and over and over.

If I wasn't in the business, I wouldn't go near BlackBerry products with a 10 foot pole.

And that's the problem. They have great products and a terrific value proposition for enterprise, but no one is buying. Corporations are hanging on to the BES5 rather than upgrade.

Only by removing BlackBerry from the markets and quieting the negative noise can this company turn around.

Whoever they choose to partner with is not going to save them. The only option with a partner is to be consumed and split apart.

They have to go private and as soon as possible.

Repeating something like "BlackBerry is dead" over and over again is not going to make it so. Nor is it going to change the fact that BlackBerry is in fact, not dead. Saying something that is in fact alive, is dead, repeatedly, expecting that to change the results, could be considered a form of insanity. I don't know, I gots nothin' and I'm not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, however flexible that is.

Posted via CB10

" is not going to make it so"

I wish you were right. But in the case of BlackBerry I fear you're wrong.

If I say BlackBerry is dead often enough, people start to believe me and so don't buy products. So BlackBerry 10 gets pretty good reviews but no one buys.

"It's the apps" the experts say. But if you ask 10 people in the street how many apps they've downloaded, 5 will say none, 3 will say 5 and the rest 200. So for 80% of people BlackBerry is just fine but they're not buying.

Would you buy if CNBC (or insert any other media outlet) says BlackBerry is dead every day and you didn't know any better?

I agree somehow the negativity must he removed as they certainly offer a viable alternative. But that means they must do what they say, whether public or private. You just can' t hide and hope for the best. There has to be a mindset and cultural shift.

I don't think BlackBerry was ever designed to battle the public and be under a microscope like it is. The public are unreasonable and the sense of entitlement is absurd. Everybody wants more than the next person for no reason at all. "I have four cores in my processor!" "my camera has more megapixels than yours." "my phone can instahoop" are all things running through a smartphone users head while filling up their hummer with crates of bottled water at the walmart super centre? I don't know if that's what should be driving the success or demise of any business in 2013.

Posted via CB10

"I don't know if that's what should be driving the success or demise of any business in 2013."

The bottom line is that if you're in a business where you have a product to sell. Consumers have to want to buy it.

Obviously, in your mind, people are snatching up Hummers and bottled water like nobody's business. Though I'm in NYC and haven't seen a hummer in years. But who knows, maybe instead of Porsche, they should have done a Hummer design phone.

I always feel better after reading Chris' posts regarding these matters. Several other posts mention this too. Traction is what we need.. time or licensing to another manufacturer is fine with me..

BB10 is awesome and only will get better over time. I love my Q10 and the only way you can have it is take it out of my cold dead hands.

Posted via CB10

Business arrogance has led to the demise of BB!

1. New management: neither hip or relevant to compete against Apple or Samsung. New phones are competitive but already just at the same level as everyone else. Just
2. Who needsw BBM with a cross platform app like WhatsApp?
3. By foresaking the playbook, they turned their backs on owners ( who have been loyal) who would potentially get new compatible BB phones. Now, why bother.
4. Market research would have clearly indicated that consumers wanted a physical keyboard yet BB chose to intro first the the z10 to slow sales and mixed reviews. Ignore what consumers want and you will pay the price!

So new strategic alternatives? Isn't that what the development of BB10, changing of the RIM name, creation of the new board, hiring of new management was all about?

Whatsapp is a joke. That's when I stopped reading your post. It's used because it's an semi-acceptable option. BBM kills all IM, especially whatscrapp

Posted via CB10

Whatsapp is a case of this is "good enough" It will be interesting how BBM works on Android / iOS and how it is adopted.

I'm not letting go of my BlackBerry I can't and won't..i love this company since I've been 16 I'm 24 now let's go BlackBerry I still think we have a chance idk what anybody say. BlackBerry Fan for life

Posted via CB10

I didnt infer that Whatsapp is better in any way. But if BBM is better why is it not a strong selling point drawing back old BB users and or getting new "devotees"?

It could be a combination of things.

- Contract status
- Lack of Apps they feel are vital
- Size of device
- Not on their carrier (F'n iSprint)
- Constant media pile on and fear of going out of business

Unlike you people don't buy a smartphone and say " oh does it have BBM ? "
That was so like pre Iphone era. It's 2013 and the problem is many BB users simply do get it or they just want things to go back to the way it was when BB introduced its first device.
This ->
" SirKneeland .....
"good enough" and also "on every platform out there" which makes it nearly as universal as SMS. "
That is why I do not need a BB device. been there, done that. My Nexus 4 does everything and more then what the Z10 does and cost me allot less, allows me to connect to the world and use any APP I want with the Millions of people out there without having to worry about " does the App exist ? " " will it work ? "
That is the problem facing BB.

If they were going to do a JV they could have just done that and announced it...why to unravel the whole market and make it even more difficult for themselves to further sell BES10 and BB10 ? It makes JV a very unlikely scenario...regarding the analyst you have been reading, Gus from Scotia Bank...he had the craziest BB10 sales numbers of all :) 5 million plus...what was he smoking...
I think If something is going to happen it will be from Prem or Microsoft and it better happens before next ER else we are in deep Mess during ER.

Posted via CB10

HP Buys BB, enters into the enterprise space with a giant bang of BlackBerry WebOS10 - I can dream right? or LG buys it... "for their TVs" like they did WebOS? haha

Unfortunately, I believe BBRY has just boxed themselves into a six week spectacle. The equity markets these days have no patience. We will either get some news of meaningful action over the next six weeks (an acquisition, a join venture, a buyout, a licensing arrangement, or a bust-up), or the next quarterly results will be a complete spectacle. We've already been told they will lose money. We all know subscriber numbers will be down. There is no hidden tax refund coming. The cash reserve will shrink considerably. Just based on the things we KNOW, if the equity markets don't have an action plan clearly ahead of them, the stock price will tank. Maybe this is just me being a bit of a pessimist, but I think the decline in that scenario will be monumental. I fully expect we will be exploring new 5-year lows. Sad.

But wouldn't that play into the buy back plan?

Play the market with the "things are so bad" card and let them crush the stock and shorts get their last fun making a dirty buck and then the investors kick in day 2 and buy it all up for cheap.

You may be right. But it's hard to believe that this is what the Board intended when they made their announcement. They are supposed to be protecting the interests of their shareholders - not creating a scenario where someone can gobble them up for cheap. I think the next six weeks are going to be a bit of a roller-coaster, and then we will either have a real story (some form of transaction announced), or a complete melt down.

Well as much as I love BlackBerry and I really truly do I cannot but feel this is all negative crap and that no good will come from all this! The only problem I have is that all other platforms out there are really shit compared to BB10 but they know how to get shit done via marketing, launch timing and so on! Well fuck it was a ok run I guess!

Blackberry 10 in my opinion, is the best OS on the market to date. One of the major problems with BBRY besides app development and availability, is the overall sentiment of the brand with untapped and former consumers.

Most people are disconnected with the brand and have a negative connotation with the name. BBRY has to make itself relavent in a positive way again. Sometimes, unfortunately, it's not the best product that wins. McDonald's doesn't make the best tasting burger with quality meat and ingredients. But they are relavent in society and business.

Blackberry has to show customers who they are and how they are just as good as thier competitors. If you don't believe you're as good as the guys you're playing against, then why are you in the game?

If BlackBerry is Productivity and Enterprise first, then be that without blinking. If you are geared towards multimedia and entertainment, then be that. If you are a "social butterfly" and a trend setter or follower, BE THAT!

BlackBerry needs to have a marketing strategy that reconnects the consumer to their device and what matters most in their life. Give a 20 second interview with a real customer and BB10 device and allow the audience to hear first hand from a BlackBerry subscriber what the products means to them and thier lives. BlackBerry needs to catch the Next generation of mobile phone users first (the youth).

Example Commercial: Whether it's a YOUNG woman or man who is an aspiring designer, photogropher, student, business executive, volunteer, athlete, or average Joe, give their testimony to the new BB10 platform and why it's thier only choice for a mobile device.

You are reconnecting the customer to the product and brand again. "Why is BlackBerry important in my life?"

It isn't BlackBerry 10 software or hardware that's the problem....Its the negative sentiment of consumers who remember BlackBerry of old and will not look in BlackBerry's direction to see how they are any different today than they were 5 years ago.

MAKE THE BRAND RELEVANT AGAIN IN A POSITIVE WAY!

Posted via CB10

Strategic partnerships is where this is going and it just started with Samsung and Panasonic's Automotive Systems division. No doubt Blackberry has lots of other irons in the fire too. The media is not paying attention to facts-instead it panders to head line grabbing sensationalism.

Blackberry signed a strategic deal with Samsung a little over a week ago to put BBM on Samsung's phones in Africa. If that works, could go world wide quickly. Then the Panasonic deal in which QNX Software Systems will partner with Panasonic Automotive Systems to create infotainment for North American, European and Japanese automakers, expanding its already considerable reach in the infotainment market.

QNX will be contracted by Japan to produce the infotainment software, and will also partner with the company to help build a platform that will generally improve next-gen car audio and information systems, including new architecture, mobile connectivity features and greater flexibility, according to the company.

Already, QNX powers something like 60 percent of the infotainment systems used by automakers worldwide, and this should help them continue to be a primary effective influence in that market for at least a few years into the future.

I'll stick with blackberry, but most won't come our way anymore. Carrier won't showcase the hardware at this point. What is the hail Mary pass now?

Posted via CB10

The tough thing with stateside carriers is they are so in bed with Apple. Samsung runs their own ads but when did you see an Ad for anything else on the big 4? They owe Apple millions over the next year or two and have sales commitements that are going to fall short as the market for Apple has hit a wall.

Hard to get the average consumer to know you have a new device and it's solid when your sales partners don't even bother pushing your new products.

Motorola said it would spend $500 million to market the X and that phone will only be sold in North American meaning that spend is for North America only. AT&T will have a limited time exclusive with Moto Maker I'm relatively sure that they will kick in a little advertising of that on their own during that time.

I say this to show there are things a company like BlackBerry can do to boost their mind share. So far Frank has chosen other roads that seem to be trying to market on the cheap, and have been anything but effective.

If Canadians really wanted BlackBerry to survive they would buy BB10 devices, but I see friends all around me getting old iphones or cheap droids.....its too bad because the z10 rocks!

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

I think the only partnership that makes sense is a company that knows how to advertise. The general public do not know why bb10 is better than the other platforms, and that's the fundamental problem.

Make a phone ahead of the game if u wanna compete! It's not hard to understand that.. you're definitely not going to do that if ur next flagship phone has only 8 mega pixels!

Posted via CB10

Its finally good (and bad) to read a realistic article from Chris rather than just a veiled hope of a crumbling company.

If BlackBerry can't do it alone, I would love to see a partnership between BlackBerry and Cisco...

Posted via CB10

Go private young man and screw what everyone else thinks.

I'm 100% comfortable with BlackBerry being a niche smart phone maker in the short term while the company takes the time it needs to get everything right.

It would be an enormous mistake to stop making devices altogether; think of the other 'road kill' companies in recent memory that silenced their critics: Apple, General Motors, then think about a brighter future ahead.

Posted via CB10

What happens to people with BB07 devices if BB gets sold or goes under? Will we be forced to buy an android or iOS device or will BIS still work on networks like Verizon?

BIS needs the NOC. If the NOC fails you'll still have POP / IMAP and the phone will still work for internet, calls etc. It's not like the device will just up and go dark.

"How to you accomplish a scale increase? "

Why do people not re-read what they've written prior to submitting it?

I don't know enough about private enterprise to have a proper opinion, but I don't want to see pieces.

Posted via CB10

I would like to see a strategic partnership with Panasonic or at least more than one manufacturer. BB10 and QNX is powerful, and very expandable.

Just like the author stated in this article, this special committee is looking for ways to accelerate BB10 adoption.

Here's some advice, Fire the marketing department and hire a 3rd party marketing firm. BB10 was not only poorly marketed, but all BB10 based devices were overpriced.

Im thinking oracle,cisco and the like someone that wanst to get into M2M.Im pretty sure BB want to still be around as an entity and have a chance to split.I can see BB looking for a reverse of nokia and MS type deal alot of licensing and access to BB's goods.

I think blackberry should release a middle range touchscreen smartphone with same specs of the blackberry Q5 + the Z30

Posted via CB10

I think a huge play they are leaving on the table is a Z10 that is WiFi only. Apple sells a TON of iPod Touch and it's a huge part of their market. It drives a lot of the games etc.

A WiFi Z10 (or Z30) sold right through them and price it at $150 and $299. BOOM that will sell and push all the games available on it. Add BBM WiFi support for IM/Video/VOIP and you have a killer option for those that don't need a wireless expense.

Shadberry Bold....sentiment toward a brand us purely as a result of the Apps available or perceived to be available.
If developers only develop apps for Android and for iOS then it leaves BlackBerry behind.

Perhaps BlackBerry should consider buying/patnering with a corporation that devlop killer apps...that all platforms want.

Then BlackBerry will be desirable again..

Posted via CB10

@ br14...

You're right negative press every day drives sales down. It's like the press have an agenda, they lat h into topics if discussion, popularise them and make a rumour a reality! He'll they could bring about the end if the world!

One idea I had is a carrier may buy into Blackberry...is the fact hat the Z30 covered in AT&T logos any form of a hint?? Just a thought...

Posted via CB10

Bad news :-( a few CTO's I know have confirmed all plans to upgrade to BES10 halted. Even ours is looking at Microsoft now. Whilst I will keep my personal B B seems like I'll also have a Nokia soon from work. The announcement has effectively stopped anyone buying BlackBerry. I'm really afraid. That BlackBerry is dead in the water.....very bad error of judgement by the CEO

Posted via CB10

Dell buys BlackBerry? Didn't you see what happened to the last OS bought by a computer company? HP killed Palm and that will happen to BlackBerry as well if dell buys them

Sent from the Amazing Z10

I am new to BlackBerry. I come from android usage and I am now a proud user of a q10. I started fancying my husband devices, curve, bold and finally a z10. Since I am very bad at emulated keyboards I had q5 and q10 to try. The user experience is amazing, the design elegant, the screen and colors and transitions beautiful. Performance, visual sharpness and a good OS. Good apps too. Whoever gives a try knows this os10 family is just terrific. I'm sold; all the rest does not matter.

Posted via CB10

Whatever route they decide on, the faster the better if they want any potential of Z30/A10 having good holiday season sales

I think they're not the worst off as they have no debt and 3 billion cash, I really just blame the advertising as it has been atrocious. Most people now a days see something on tv enough and buy it, the blackberry commercials have been bland and didn't really highlight the best features in exciting ways which will never get the customer excited to buy in the first place. If they can just advertise like they're life depends on it (which it does) and highlight they're brilliant OS they'll be alright.

Posted via CB10

"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".

"A sale of the Company" is one of the options. People and the so-called analysts/journalists just focused on "sale". If BlackBerry just wanted to sell the company, they should have done it last year. Why did they spend so much time and energy in building BB10? It does not make sense because they just got the US contract. I would say joint-ventures and partnerships are most likely going to be happened. I saw the Q5 at "Source" today. It looks so cute - it's thin (for teenagers and younger people).

When they first said that they had high hopes for BB10 and its' adoption once released. As it was being sold into the market place remember all that enthusiasm about the "best launch ever" everywhere they went. Now the numbers are hard and they are cold. BlackBerry know what they need to do to keep them an ongoing entity and perhaps now after time in seeing the first 2 phones being marketed the BOD are seeing cold hard truths take over for the pre-release optimism.

I think its been fairly well reported that BlackBerry really did not act on their words early on. I think past becomes prelude now when you see companies make statements like this in this stage of a reorganization. It's up to BlackBerry to prove it wrong once again.

But we shouldn’t forget that that the entire purpose of this strategic review is to accelerate the rollout of BlackBerry 10. The specific wording of their release is, “to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.”
+++++++

I'm glad you bolstered that point into your article Chris.

Either way, I care only for two things out of these goings-on:

1). My stock price increases to a profit.

2). BlackBerry keeps all partnerships with upmost security in mind. (Read: No offshore deals, except for hardware manufacturing).

BlackBerry + Lenovo would be the biggest pipe dream for me. Does it make strategic or financial sense... no clue. I just love these companies so much that I want them to have babies hahaha

Posted via CB10

IMO "ANYthing" from a 'Privatization' to 'Partnership' to full-blown 'Acquisition' "could" happen.
BUT it's also possible that none of them will. Even if Prem Watsa's Fairfax only keeps its stake at 9.9%.

Still, I don't expect ANY of the names suggested so far to become leading contenders.
WHY would Google, Microsoft, Samsung, HTC or even Apple bother? They ALL have their own variously successful hardware and O/S ecosystems which are "proven" and "popular" in the marketplace.

Dell is going through its own crappy 'going-private' eopisode right now, so they are NOT a contender; Period!
Sony has hugged Android for its phones & tablets AND is in financial difficulty itself, AND they are NOT doing well in other consumer product spaces, from TVs to audio and other electronics. NOT financially strong enough, nor the right partner, IMO.
HTC is itself teetering on financial disaster: despite nice hardware spec'd devices, people are just simply buying Samsung and LG instead.
No Chinese manufacturers (Lenovo, Huawei, et al) are NOT eligible due to security and other nationalistic concerns, whether 'real' or 'imagined.'

Outside of a "privatization" player like Fairfax or Blackrock (et al), the ONLY industry player I WILL suggest has ANY notion of potential interest, financial ability to carry-through, AND a solid business interest to integrate "a BlackBerry platform" SHOULD be:

ORACLE

Yes, the "business enterprise software company" that's bought up every Enterprise Application and Infrastructure company under the sun, including Sun Microsystems - yes, the old Internet Server company - and also owns rights to JAVA and OpenOffice would probably leverage BBRY to reestablish its devices as ULTRA-SECURE (VERY important in their world) CORPORATE Data Devices first, while - maybe - even exiting the consumer space. Or, carving off a separate consumer division for some odd reason.

THIS is more realistic AND possible than it is immediately obvious. FIRST, let's understand WHO or what ORACLE is: an Enterprise Applications and IT solutions (incl. hardware & infrastructure)mega-corporation. They ALREADY deliver Hardware & Software integration solutions to Enterprises of ALL kinds and sizes ... and they do it globally.
Finally, you would EXPECT the # 2 priority to this business focus to be ... wait for it ... that's right: "Security!

Partnering with or 'buying up' BlackBerry would give Oracle THE MOST SECURE mobile, handheld computing platform AND GLOBAL IT Network for its users to access their business applications, servers and enterprise systems from ANYWHERE on the planet.

Oracle hasn't made ANY truly major acquisitions in about 2 years, so they will have PLENTY of ca$h ready to deploy, even if only to inject as part of an inverstor- & partnership.
They PLAY exclusively in the "corporate" business applications space and a "device" offering would perfectly complement their enterprise applications, especially when the platform is able to access said applications SECURELY AND Globally via BBRY's secure global IT Network.

Let me ALSO throw out there that US-based Oracle wouldn't raise ANY security concerns with the US State Department (and various other governments) about BBRY getting sold (etc.), UNLIKE any Chinese or even Korean buyer.
Worst-case scenario, they might be allowed to buy BBRY with conditions - ie. IF they carve off a few chunks, like QNX and the global data network, or some other combination and can keep the rest.

I REALLY hope it doesn't go as far as a buyout and remains in the "partnering" or "similar" sphere, but in the world of business and greed, "anything" can happen. Either way, I KNOW this company can be saved, but some radical change IS necessary. BBRY: get in touch; I'm across town AND available!!

THAT's my 2 cents' worth from our penny-less country.

Cheers & Keep Moving.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but in retrospect, I think Monday's announcement is the culmination of the "strategic review" announced last May. The streamlining of manufacturing operations, the layoffs/restructuring, the "hoarding" of cash, etc., are all moves that might have been necessary and beneficial regardless of BlackBerry's outcome. But, when considered in aggregate and with other factors, such as the seemingly controlled spending around the launch and related marketing, these are moves a company seeking a buyer would make. I think this has been in the works for a while as a way for BBRY to hedge its bets against a lukewarm response to BB 10. If BB 10 caught on and exceeded expectations, great--the company managed a turnaround as a leaner, more streamlined organization. If it flopped, then the company already had made itself more attractive to potential buyers.

I still have faith in BlackBerry, they still have a huge chanse to make it out of this problem if they play their cards right.

Let's not forget that Nokia was about to bankrupt in the late 80's but was saved by quick and important decissions. Not to mention that they are even recovering from the problems they had lately.

I personally think it's exact what they said, they are looking at all options that could further bb10 whether that's a joint venture or partnership and the media has just taken what they want from it and blown it up. I think what they are doing is standard thinking when faced with the current issues.

They've been looking for "partners" for some time and even engaged help to do so last year. Apparently no one is interested.

Apart from possibly the MDM component, it's hard to see why anyone would want BlackBerry. There's so little value except as a complete entity.

Fair enough QNX could be sold off, but that's minimal value. BES10 would be of interest with the associated network but again for minimal value. And the patents could be acquired by a major player.

But wait long enough and the share price will be back to $6 or below and you could pick the company up for not much more than it's cash value.

The only hope for BlackBerry as a device brand is to be bought as a going concern. But unless the buyer is Google, Apple or perhaps Amazon (unlikely they all just don't need BlackBerry) the company will still be the subject of negative PR and ultimately will die.

Whatever. I was using a Star Tec Silver edition before my first BB device. Hopefully will continue to use my Q10 for a long time yet. Great Phone made by a Cdn Company.

Regardless of what happens, I can say with certainty, Apple will never see my business. I'll go android.

As for laptops..my MB Pro will be the last one..next up is a decent tablet.. Sony maybe?

But for phone..this is still the most secure device ever invented..i like to remind my iOS friends of that often. Lol

Have a great weekend folks!

DilBit Powered Q10... 10.2 where ya 2 bye??

As for the media..typical main stream garbage reporting..like a bunch of drunken parrots. Screw them and their expert analysts.

DilBit Powered Q10... 10.2 where ya 2 bye??

This is unbelievable, Blackberry went from world leader to bottom of the barrel. Perfect example of lack of corporate governance - who was driving this company while the two co-CEO were preoccupied with buying hockey teams and building think tanks. This truly is a awful.

Chris

Last year BlackBerry released a statement saying that they were exploring strategic alternatives . I'm sure companies have been kicking BlackBerry's tires so to speak and nothing really has surfaced. In your professional opinion do you think that something should have happened by now or some news that a partnership was in the makes? Does this mean that nobody is really interested in purchasing Blackberry at this time?

Posted via CB10

Heins & Boulben earn "D's" for their efforts on company's communication strategy and fortifying BB's brand. Hence time for a golden handshake.

Well im not so worried because im pretty sure ill be happy with my Q10 for the next 3 years or more...
What i want to happen is that if the company go broke..... at least one of them take the ideas to another company to continue making quality qwerty phones with something in the lines of the BB10 quality. This is the best phone ever, but sadly, i see blackberry going down the hill in a year or so unless a real miracle happens.

I think that the BB phones as we know them will cease to exist soon. Its a damn shame because if they pulled the Z and Q series like 3 or 4 years ago.... the company would have been soooo suceesfull right now without losing their market share. Stupi management stubborness and slowness doomed the company.

Blackberry pulled at the stops and came up with a brilliant software in BB10 and a fantastic phone in Z10 and then free fall to ground because their marketing and sale strategy was horrendous!! Now they want to sell the company as an alternate. Why not get your marketing right and push the product to masses.
In most cases people don't buy phones, they are sold phones. I work in phone retail and i know, we sell iphones to people who ask for android and viceversa. Depending what we have in stock and what good incentives we are offered!! Blackberry did not even bother to push BB10 with the networks and the retail incentives were next to none, hence no retailer bothered to push it. .Instaed of getting Alicia keys and all they should have gone with an extensive advertisment and product placing for blackberry to have been seen and sold!!

Chris, ever think about analyzing the possible scenerios from the angle of what the Canadian government might approve through the Investment Canada Act? Here's the link from the 2008 blocking of space technology MDA to a US firm: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2008/04/10/mdablock.html

I can't imagine this current government would allow BBRY to go foreign. Maybe a smart strategy would be:

1) Block the sale
2) Let the shares tank
3) Have the CPPIB quietly scoop the shares up cheap, and maybe even throw some more cash at them for expansion.
4) Get BBRY back in the game, sell the shares for a tidy profit. They made a tidy profit selling their stake in Skype to MSFT.

That's my armchair quarterbacking. My advice is free, and worth every penny! :D

''IT’S EVIDENT THAT THE MEDIA IS ENTIRELY FOCUSED ON THE IDEA THAT BLACKBERRY IS UP FOR SALE''

Well the media is right, BUT they are right for the wrong reasons. The media profits from exaggerated sensationalism. So they want to see Blackberry fail and die. Its sells newspapers.

My Lazyboy chair opinion is BB needs to either merge or be directly purchased by a super company like Sony which is very diversified in the marketplace.

BB has an extensive portfolio of patents which are very valuable, and partnered with the right company and an infusion of cash (and obviously a new Android OS) Blackberry would be once again sucessful.

If doesnt matter where the purchaser is from, US/Asia etc, what does matter is its a great company that is going to make BB profitable again, and in the end thats what we all as BB fans want.

I am a loyal BB user, shareholder and independent BB app developer and so it is sad to see this happen. BB gave me a start, and so they will always have a warm place in my heart. I want to keep developing for BB and can't imagine why they are having such a hard time gaining traction. There are other factors at play besides just the software/hardware itself. People mention lack of major apps, marketing, brand recognition, etc. There must be a combination of factors at play making the perfect storm.

My interpretation is that no matter what, whatever option is chosen will be with the goal of making BB10 / QNX live on.... there is no question it is a lean OS and offers many features making it far superior to other mobile OS's today. Whether it remains only in embedded systems like cars, hospital machines, or also in more general consumer gear like tablets and phones, remains the question. However, the Blackberry brand appears to have been tarnished by a legacy of OS5-7 devices with keyboards and small screens, a 2-3 year "gap" in new product innovation that has allowed other companies to leapfrog over, and a perceived weak app ecosystem. Part of the stock rebranding was also trying to show a new face to RIM, to shake that legacy. However, it still hasn't worked in the consumer field.

We all see the new BB10 hardware is much better, and the QNX BB10 OS is incredible... and will get even better once given the number of years for maturity that iOS and Android have had. However, as long as it says "BlackBerry" on the phone, with consumer confidence being what it is, many people are not touching it. So it is a "viscous circle" which needs to be broken. Perhaps a sale or partnership with the loss of the BlackBerry name, or partnership with a company that changes the name may make people look at it again and give it a second chance. Of course, there will still have to be more improvement on the hardware and refining software features, but the core BlackBerry QNX will still be there.

And hopefully the engineers and brains behind it all will still be there working on it. On the other hand, while some people may look the other way from BlackBerry-branded things, many of us actually have confidence in the BlackBerry brand and so seeing it disappear or change may actually lose a lot of us older customers. Imagine if they changed their name to "QNoXe" and started selling phones.... you see this in the store, would you even consider buying it, compared to Nokia, Samsung, LG, Apple, Motorola, etc... ?

When IBM sold off it's personal computing division it was rebranded as Lenovo. How did that go? Would IBM have had the same success if they had kept the same name? Did it make a difference that people knew that Lenovo was actually just IBM with a name change? Or how about when Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC?

I wonder how the brand will survive after all this. Whatever the name, I hope the engineers who put all their work in this continue to work on it and improve things. Just like the Avro Arrow project, I'd hate for them to be fractured off and shipped out of the country, and leave a budding but forward-thinking QNX OS in tatters.

Hi edyb. Excellent read on your analisis of BB10 and QNX. I'd like to comment on one particular thing. You said...

''My interpretation is that no matter what, whatever option is chosen will be with the goal of making BB10 / QNX live on.... ''

Its an interesting interpretation and as a BB dev I can see why you are making it, but I disagree.

Surely you must know the main reason BB10 has failed is there were far to few apps available for the OS. Microsoft themselves didn't even want to make a BB10 version of Skype. And without sufficient apps to compete with Android and IOS, you will fail.

If BB is going to survive they will be going Android. And any company who buys BB knows this. Sure BB10 is secure unlike Android, but it is not a popular OS and wont continue. The only other OS that comes close to BB10 security is IOS. And I'm sure we all know Apple would rather drench BB in gasoline and set them on fire then let BB license IOS 7. So the only logical choice is Android.

Its rather sad too because I own a Playbook and my wife has an iPad, and iPad is very similar in style, majestic feel, and classiness as Playbook and BB10. IOS would be great on BB.

Is it possible that BBRY is waiting until the OS matures before it starts advertising more heavily in the US?

No. BB is on the verge of bankrupsy and can no longer financially continue to pump a billion into advertising, which is why the company is up for sale.

They are on the verge of bankruptcy, with $3 Billion in the bank? At the rate they are losing money, it will take 35 years before they run out of money.

According to Bloomberg Thorsten Heins would make up to $55.6 million if he is force out under new ownership. If Heins is terminated without change of control he earns "only" $22 million.

BB10 delay, abandoning tablet market, no BB10 cross platform deployment, lack of colour choice (Z10, Q10), strange pricing policy, lukewarm marketing, lukewarm carrier support, leaving out certain geographic markets, phablet delay, slider delay, lack of BB10 updates synchronization, cross platform BBM delay, no reaction to stock manipulation, no reaction to tons of (paid) bashing articles released every day..

What else should Blackberry management to do (or not to do) to come to realize that they were not hired to make BlackBerry successful. THEY HAVE BEEN HIRED TO PREPARE BLACKBERRY FOR SALE.

This type of news just making people switch and stay away from BB.
Who wants to invest on a product who can be killed like PB.

The best comment I have seen is that Thorsten is doing the Ali "rope-a-dope", dodging punches to buy time until he delivers the knock out punch in the 8th round:-). We will know in just 6 weeks when the next quarterly report is given. The key will be to see if hand set sales are increasing and if BES 10 subscription revenue is starting to come in. Earnings will still be zero or show a small loss because all free cash flow will be re invested in re structuring and marketing.