BlackBerry considers putting itself up for sale

2013-08-13 08:43

Toronto – BlackBerry will consider selling itself after the long-awaited debut of its new phones failed to turn around the struggling smartphone maker.

The company said yesterday its board has formed a special committee to explore “strategic alternatives” in hopes of enhancing the company’s value and boosting adoption of its BlackBerry 10 platform.

The company said its options could also include joint ventures, partnerships, or other moves.

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, had been the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007 and showed that phones can handle much more than email and phone calls.

In the years since, BlackBerry Ltd. has been hammered by competition from the iPhone as well as Android-based rivals. In January, the company unveiled new phones running a revamped operating system called BlackBerry 10 designed to better compete.

But its market share continues to lag, and the company warned in June of future losses.

Mike Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, said sales are getting worse even with price reductions for the new phones.

“Now they have to go to the next step of what’s best for the company and shareholders to survive long term because it doesn’t look promising on BlackBerry 10 sales,” Walkley said.

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