Has BlackBerry Lost it?
I reckon that this would be the question on the lips of most smartphone users. BlackBerry which had most of the market share just a few years ago has lost most of this to the burgeoning Android and Apple ecospaces. Recent announcements and reports have even been less encouraging.
Last Monday, it was announced that the company had reached a preliminary deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings, one of its largest shareholders to sell the company for a reported $4.7 billion which would effectively see the publicly traded company become private.
Despite launching the Z10 and Q10 brands which run on the company’s new operating system, it experienced a slow growth. The picture looks even grimmer when compared with the reported sale of 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models and 200 million devices running on Apple’s brand new operating system, iOS 7.
It has also been announced that BlackBerry had nearly $1 billion in unsold phones, and that 40% of its workforce would be laid off. The company’s stock value nosedived 17% upon that announcement. Rumour mills have even predicted that a bankruptcy filing was at the corner.
Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Canadian insurance firm with a 10% stake in BlackBerry has made preliminary agreement with the BlackBerry board to allow it pay $9 a share for the remaining 90%. The board has however asked for 6 weeks to search for any other interested buyer after which if no buyer is found, the two parties can conclude the deal. The insurance firm is currently arranging financing to push through the deal.
If however BlackBerry finds a buyer within the 6 weeks stated, they would have to fork out a hefty $150 million as breakup fee. The fact that BlackBerry have opted to make the starting price of the deal public knowledge underlines their desperation to get potential suitors in. All these point to a very weak negotiating platform where the one time smartphone giant stands.
Do you use a BlackBerry phone? What do you have to say about all these announcements? Do you think BlackBerry can survive? Let us know in the comments section below.