Newsletters
Technology, Discovery & Innovation NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Computing Digital Life Discovery Space More Topics...
Vblock™ Systems:
Advanced converged infrastructure
increases productivity & lowers costs.

www.vce.com
Mobile Tech
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
BlackBerry Signals It Will Keep Its Smartphones
BlackBerry Signals It Will Keep Its Smartphones

By Barry Levine
November 5, 2013 10:23AM

Bookmark and Share
John Chen, who will serve as executive chairman of the Board as well as interim CEO of BlackBerry, said it would take as much as 18 months to turn the company around, but that there were "enough ingredients to build a long-term sustainable business" around its smartphones. Chen has replaced Thorsten Heins as interim CEO at BlackBerry.
 


What now for BlackBerry? That's the question, following Monday's news that the beleaguered smartphone maker has ended its quest for a buyer, accepted a $1 billion cash infusion, and brought on a new, interim CEO.

The pending purchase by Fairfax Financial Holdings of Toronto for $4.7 billion has been discarded, as apparently have a variety of discussions with such potential suitors as Lenovo or LG. Fairfax had been engaged in a due diligence period which ended Monday. Thorsten Heins, who became CEO in January of last year and oversaw the company's launch of its new BlackBerry 10 platform, has resigned, and John Chen, who turned around Sybase over a decade ago before it was purchased by SAP, is now heading BlackBerry.

BlackBerry said Chen would remain interim CEO until a new, permanent CEO is found. Fairfax Chairman and Chief Executive V. Prem Watsa will once again join BlackBerry's board as lead director, a position he resigned during the summer to avoid any conflict of interest.

'Enough Ingredients'

Chen, who will serve as executive chairman of the Board as well as interim CEO, has told Reuters news service that it will take as much as 18 months to turn the company around, but that there were "enough ingredients to build a long-term sustainable business" around its smartphones. A key question, heightened by Monday's news, is whether BlackBerry would opt for abandoning its devices business altogether and focus entirely on software and services, such as its popular BlackBerry Messenger service or its mobile device management platform.

It's not yet clear what role Fairfax will play in this new phase. BlackBerry has not specifically said how the $1 billion infusion will be used, but the company is known to be sitting on $2.6 billion in cash and investments without Fairfax. The $1 billion, reportedly provided by a capital pool financed by five unnamed firms, is made available through debt securities and can be turned into common shares at $10 each.

'Devices Are Staying'

Ramon Llamas, research analyst with IDC Mobility, told us that, based on Chen's comments, it appears that "devices are staying in the foreseeable future" for BlackBerry. He added that he would "have a hard time" seeing BlackBerry de-emphasize devices, at least because they help the company demonstrate its services.

He said other takeaways from Monday's news include the fact that the company will "remain intact," at least for now, instead of having its parts sold off. As with most companies, Llamas said, "the whole is greater than the parts" at BlackBerry.

Additionally, Llamas said BlackBerry device owners now have a temporary "sigh of relief" that the company is moving forward, at least for the next few months. This movement could help stabilize its still-considerable customer base, he said, not the least of which is the U.S. government.

But the main questions, he said, revolve around the fact that Chen is an interim CEO, which raises issues of how much "weight and authority" he has, so that he can provide the strong leadership the company needs.

Until that is resolved, Llamas said, BlackBerry is "in the waiting room, a holding pattern."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Opera Coast Offers Safari Alternative
2.   What Might an Amazon Phone Offer?
3.   OnePlus One Boasts Android Weapon
4.   Samsung: $2.2B Too Much for Apple
5.   Review: Windows Phone Advances


advertisement
BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Spat
Moving on to other carriers after snub.
Average Rating:
Zebra Buys Motorola Enterprise Biz
Pays $3.45B in all-cash deal.
Average Rating:
What Might an Amazon Phone Offer?
Feature speculation is running rampant.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Tech Giants Fund Initiative To Prevent Future Heartbleeds
Can more funding prevent Heartbleed vulnerabilities in future open-source software? A new Core Infrastructure Initiative at the Linux Foundation is attempting to find out.
 
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 

Navigation
Sci-Tech Today
Home/Top News | Computing | Digital Life | Discovery | Space | Innovation | Health | Science News
Environment
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.