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BlackBerry for sale: what does it mean for the Canadian company?

BlackBerry for sale: what does it mean for the Canadian company?

BlackBerry’s statement regarding rumours of a planned sale is a rather obvious attempt at being nuanced.

Its opening lines alone are loaded with meaning, addressing a truth that the mobile maker is seemingly unwilling to talk about directly.

Not seen it? Here it is: “The 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.”

In other words: ‘We’re up for sale’.

Its key shareholder, Fairfax Financial says at the moment it has "no current intention of selling its shares".

RIM CEO Thorsten Hein BlackBerry 10 keynote

But that’s a position that will doubtless change as BlackBerry primes itself to either go private or to sell itself off to a rival in the smartphone space. In practice, this move could mean the end of BlackBerry hardware as we know it.

The Z10 and Q10 were both well received earlier this year, but neither has managed to make anything approaching a dent in the sales of Samsung, Apple, LG and even Nokia handsets.

Ailing HTC sits ahead of it too, giving a clear indicator that demand for BlackBerry phones is all but gone.

The fact that the first thing BlackBerry mentions is that it wants to ‘accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment’ is telling.

Its new(ish) smartphone platform, as well as its enterprise-focused BES 10 and BBM, are the key touchstones throughout the statement.

bbm messaging

That points to the fact that BlackBerry clearly wants to leverage its software business, spreading it wider and perhaps partnering with other manufacturers in order to put it on different, non-BlackBerry devices.

It’s already doing so with BBM on iOS and Android, so why not widen the scope?

This could mean swanky new phones using secure BlackBerry servers, but without the BlackBerry brand.

That could be enticing to major companies, who want to put the safety of their communications ahead of other concerns, but don’t want to lumber users with yesterday’s hardware.

BB10 on other phones would also increase competition at the top of smartphone tree.

bb10 software

The idea of Samsung, Sony, HTC or LG trying out a new OS is appealing, especially as Android’s monopoly is now so strong that someone needs to try something different.

Whatever happens, the days of BlackBerry unleashing new devices appear numbered.

For those that remember that company as a smartphone pioneer, which firmed up the concept of email on the move, this will be a sad day.

But for those who’ve witnessed the decline and seen years of bizarre statements and hideously delayed launches, today will come as no surprise.

BlackBerry needed a miracle and it just couldn’t find one.

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