BlackBerry co-founder 'in joint bid talks'

Sep 21, 2013 by John Biers
Former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis on October 18, 2011 in San Francisco, California. One of BlackBerry's co-founders has held talks with private equity firms about making a joint bid for the struggling Canadian smartphone maker, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

One of BlackBerry's co-founders has held talks with private equity firms about making a joint bid for the struggling Canadian smartphone maker, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Former Blackberry co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has talked to firms including Blackstone Group LP and Carlyle Group LP, the paper said. It quoted people familiar with the matter.

The report came just a day after Blackberry said it would cut 4,500 jobs, or 40 percent of its workforce, in the face of hefty losses and weak sales of its new .

Lazaridis and co-founder Jim Balsillie handed over the reins of the company in January 2012 under pressure from shareholders unhappy with the company's performance.

News of the show BlackBerry's efforts at reviving its fortunes are a stunning failure and push the once high-flying firm one step closer to extinction, analysts said.

BlackBerry said it expects a loss of $950 to $995 million (700 million to 735 million euros) in the second quarter mostly due to writedowns linked to poor sales of its Z10 smartphone, the device aimed at competing against Apple and Android devices.

The company's highly-publicised launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform earlier this year failed to ignite sales. The company has said it is examining "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale of the company.

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1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2013
Selling the company is copping out. Stay with it, and develop the Blackberry to fit into the unique slot that it owned when it first came out as the ultimate pager and wireless communication tool for business professionals. Targeting that niche market is still a good strategy. Many administrators and business leaders still own and like their Blackberry. Enhancing its functionality, for example by giving it a secure teleconferencing feature, or providing it with specialized investor apps, or whatever, to steer it away from competing with the generic consumer market and not competing with those commercial products would raise its prestige among the elite users. What is its downfall is trying to sell as many BB's as possible to all sectors of the population to play, browse, email make videos etc. BB doesn't need to monopolize market share to succeed. Downsize, that's all. The first phase is done, getting rid of superfluous employees.
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2013
Also, making the BB rugged and durable is a selling point. That's why I like Motorola products. If you drop one of their phones, no problem. Drop an iPhone, and you have a cracked screen. I'm amazed at how many peoples' iPhones I have seen with cracked screens and chipped cases. They are cheap, cheap, cheap. It's no wonder Apple is so rich, their products cost an arm and a leg and to buy and virtually nothing in materials to manufacture.