Blackberry CEO Out, Sale Plans Scrapped
Blackberry's stock is taking a beating today after the company announced that it would be cancelling plans to sell itself off, and that Blackberry CEO Thurston Heins would be "stepping down." According to a company announcement
, their deal with Fairfax Financial Holdings to be acquired (announced in September
) is being replaced by a deal to nab $1 billion in new financing from Fairfax and others.
Meanwhile outed CEO Thurston Heins, who spent much of his year playing make believe
, is to be replaced by former Sybase executive John S. Chen while the company conducts a search for his replacement.
"Today's announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors," said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry's Board.
"The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs."
Re: Really? More like spend a bunch of money buying NEW deck chairs to rearrange on the Titanic.
Re: Blackberry needs to hop on the Android bandwagon The problem that BlackBerry faces is at least partly that their OS is is such a small player in the market that it doesn't get so much developer attention, and platforms live and die by how many apps are written for them. The advantage to them of adopting Android is that they can freely customize it just about any way they want. If I were doing it, I would design it with device encryption enabled by default, plus the ability to make encrypted calls and send encrypted messages baked into the OS. Removable SD cards would not be an option, since that allows data to be potentially taken out of the device and copied for later analysis, and apps that do not meet a certain level of security either couldn't run or would be severely restricted as to how they could interact with other apps or the OS itself. Build this with durable, tamper-resistant hardware, and maybe sell it with a little RFID device that the owner could wear on their clothing so that, if the BlackBerry is taken out of range, it will shut down completely.
Yes, you can do all this without Android, but using it would allow BlackBerry to focus on their specific hardware and software without having to also write their own OS.
Re: Blackberry needs to hop on the Android bandwagon
said by jseymour:Yes Samsung is making big profits as far as Android sales, but look at HTC and Motorola, once dominant Android device makers, who have not been doing too good (just breaking even, or continue to lose money).
The reason it might make sense for BB to do as ISurfTooMuch suggested is because they can. Do it right, as ISTM suggested, including adding something like Samsung's Knox, and they might have a real winner.
How long would it take Blackberry to switch to Android and "add something like Samsung's Knox" that still isn't as secure as their BB OS? Does BB have the talent to do that after the recent layoffs? Can they survive long enough to do make that change in direction?
On top of that, if they do manage to switch to Android, how do they differentiate their devices from other android makers? Samsung is so far out in front, what could BB add that would make anyone select a BB device running android over a Samsung Android device or even one from Moto or HTC?
BB has picked up some good press recently, KPMG Italy (3500 devices plus BES10), a bank in Spain, NATO approving devices, etc. While it may not completely negate those exiting BB, it still shows interest in their BB products and services.
I am surprised that I haven't read more of companies selecting BES10 and BB's "Secure Work Space for iOS and Android" solution.
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| I agree as well with this.|
I was a blackberry user and loved it until about a year ago. I still like the hardware they make, but there are simply no useful apps for it and I doubt that will change in the future.
Also, their tablet was an even bigger disappointment. They never even upgraded the OS on those to BB10 so there are even fewer applications available.
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Re: The end was near and clear from Netflix... You do remember that this is the sort of thing that most of the press was saying about Apple in the 90s, don't you? There's no software, they have no appealing products, they couldn't even manage to secure a deal to sell the company, they'll be bankrupt in short order, give the money back to the shareholders, etc.
The very idea that Android is a viable option for BlackBerry is flawed. Android exists precisely to support Google's data mining and advertising businesses, which is exactly the opposite of what anyone would accept as a truly secure platform.
It seems more likely that an attempt at a wholesale switch to Android would make BlackBerry's extinction unavoidable. Nobody has managed to present any real competition to Samsung, hardly even Google itself, with its own (branded) devices; the remainder of the Android world fights for the remaining scraps. At least their own OS, which is maturing more quickly than either iOS or Android did when introduced, offers some semblance of a chance of survival, however slim. For all we know, they may persist as a somewhat profitable niche player indefinitely.
The reports of Blackberry's death are greatly exadderrated.
said by ISurfTooMuch :Crafting a great distro from the ground up is not any easier from the resource perspective then designing one yourself, it is mostly done so it remains compatible with other OSs that share its kernel and API such as Linux/GNU. The problem is adding features to the Android OS itself poses the risk of breaking compatibility of a number of critically popular applications and even search functions. This example was highlighted when certain companies produced cheap MIPs tablets who SoC had 3D but because most devs didn't compile their applications beyond ARM such tablets were stuck to almost exclusively relying on Dalvik. Also, if even the latest version of App Guardian and Guardian project apps are any indication certain applications still crash when layered with extra security.
The advantage to them of adopting Android is that they can freely customize it just about any way they want.
said by IPPlanMan :Citing the refusal of one particular popular entertainment application maker's refusal to port their application is no indication that BB10 is bound to fail the world over. Said streaming service is not even available in all countries yet. And where it is perhaps employers lending devices to employees would feel comfortable with the thought that they won't be distracted on the job with their favorite TV series.
I knew this was the end of BlackBerry as a separate platform
. There's no coming back.
With the BB10 and Playbook OS web browser being fully HTML5 and plugin compliant there should not be a problem with getting popular web based services running, unless said service erects synthetic barriers.
said by jseymour :I am not saying BB made no mistakes in the past. But to somehow thwart any momentum by citing global numbers as Android has the advantage of more then one manufacturer, even though Samsung dominates that to an extent. This invites a perception of hopelessness in short inciting desertion from lenders regardless if they got certification for BB10 from the US and other governments to maintain revenue. Businesses are getting by being profitable with a lot less such as video card maker Matrox, who are catering to the commercial multi-display and video editing workstation market. This isn't about growing market share any more but trying to maintain it for a future where perhaps they can position themselves once more.
Okay: Maybe that's no more apt a comparison than your's, but riddle me this: As BB's numbers continue to shrink: How much longer can they continue to support their infrastructure, until the money and lenders both run out?
In short, a retooled Android OS is going to be so crippled to app availability that it would be not much different then what BB is doing now through emulation, without any of the benefits they can directly deliver through their BB10 OS. Like I said before, this is all part of a battle of perception to sway public shares, the more Blackberry can acquire back the better chances they have stay in business and in the future rebound.