BlackBerry has clearly fallen on hard times. It’s slow response to the growing threat from Apple’s iPhone and smartphones running Google’s Android operating system in the late 2000’s clearly caught then Research in Motion’s management team off guard.
Now the company has launched their new software platform, BlackBerry OS 10, and a few new smartphones, with and without keyboards, that no one much seems to care about. That’s really bad news for a company desperately trying to recapture their former glory as a market leader in mobile.
It’s true what they say about history repeating itself. As a recovering Palm fan, and Crackberry addict, I’ve seen this show before. The same thing happened to Palm shortly after the iPhone was released and Palm was desperately trying to get webOS and the Pre out the door to try and turn their dwindling fortunes around.
On Monday, the New York Times
outlined just how bad things are for BlackBerry, which is now officially exploring “strategic options” which is executive speak for “sell the company.”
It becomes very difficult, in my opinion, to try and sell your company when long time tech industry people like Jean-Louis Gassée, a former PalmSource and Apple executive, is trash talking what little BlackBerry has left.
“Acquiring BlackBerry is necrophilia. The BB brand is tarnished.”
But if that wasn’t bad enough, BMO Capital Markets analyst Tom Long, from Bank of Montreal on BlackBerry’s home turf, wasn’t very optimistic about BlackBerry’s options either.
“We don’t foresee any scenarios where the value of the company will be significantly larger.”
At this point it’s hard to tell if BlackBerry will be acquired by a larger company with deeper pockets – similar to what happened to Palm when they sold the company to HP – or if the Board of Directors decides to sell of key assets and patents to other companies.