BlackBerry Board Thinks Company Could Compete as "Niche" Company
September 2, 2013 12:09 PM
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It could sell off other "subsets"
As BlackBerry struggles to compete with the larger smartphone makers like Apple, Google and Samsung, its board committee said it would consider making BlackBerry a niche company.
Bert Nordberg, director of BlackBerry's board, said that the company has created value in areas like enterprise business, hardware functionality and secure communications, but other "subsets" could be sold off. Nordberg didn't specify what those subsets are.
"I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company," said Nordberg. "But being a niche company means deciding to be a niche company. Historically, BlackBerry has had larger ambitions. But battling giants like Apple, Google and Samsung is tough."
Nordberg also said that the company's value on paper and Wall Street's perception of BlackBerry's worth needs some work.
BlackBerry has been struggling to stay relevant with both Apple and Samsung/Google taking over the mobile market. Earlier this month, the company's board of directors announced the formation of a Special Committee to
explore strategic alternatives
to enhance the value and accelerate the development of BB10. The announcement came only a few days after a
that BlackBerry might go private in an attempt to fix its problems away from the public.
Nordberg joined the board as director back in February of this year. He was brought in along with retired Verizon executive Richard Lynch to try and fix the once-popular BlackBerry.
BlackBerry Z10 and Q10
Nordberg is a good candidate for the job because he helped Ericsson sell its stake in Sony Ericsson back to Sony. He was also a key part of Ericsson's restructuring process after it almost went bankrupt in the early 2000s. It resulted in almost 60,000 jobs cut and Ericsson's exit from the low-end market for basic mobile phones -- instead focusing only on smartphones running the Android operating system.
"As a CEO of Sony Ericsson, deciding to bet on Android was an easy decision," said Nordberg. "With BlackBerry things are definitely much harder. Blackberry's security framework is built into the mobile software, so you can't just decide to change operating system. But BlackBerry has cash and it has no debt, so I'm sure that we'll piece something together at the end of the day."
BlackBerry launched its new BB10 operating system in January of this year, hoping that the new line of devices with a refreshed OS could help save the ailing company. However, analysts have called the Z10 launch a "disaster" and BlackBerry
even fell from third place
to fourth in Q1 2013 for smartphone operating system shipments. Microsoft's Windows Phone booted BlackBerry for No. 3.
To make matters worse, BlackBerry posted
a surprise $84 million USD
($0.13 per share) loss for Q2 2013. It only sold 2.7 million BB10 devices as well when analysts expected 3.5 million.
Last week, reports said that BlackBerry executives were considering
of its messaging service BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). In addition, many carriers and smartphone resellers in the U.S. and Canada said that
the Q10 smartphone
has failed to sell as well as expected.
The Wall Street Journal
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RE: RIM-job what?
9/3/2013 9:53:36 AM
3 years ago their sales rep mentioned they were opening up their software to being able to work with competing products utilizing thier BES software and going to being an app on Adroid and Apple devices. Why it never saw the light of day is beyond me and that ship has sailed and sunk to the bottom of the abyss. I can only believe they felt they had the best corporate experience and that people will be loyal to blackberry and it didnt happen mainly because of BYOD programs at that point everyone wanted thier own smartphone even if the corporate mail experience is degraded compared to blackberry. Good and Mobile iron are ok not great at all but to carry your own personal device instead of personal and corporate they will deal with the annoyances of Good and Mobile Iron. The company in turn saves Money with BYOD, saves from maintaining devices, keeps you from carying two devices, and overall users are happier. If your company is willing to turn on Active Sync then you really have no reason to use Blackberry ever again and get a great experience at the expense of losing some control.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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