BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins at BBWorld 2013 - © IT World Canada

News that Toronto-based Fairfax Financial wants to offer BlackBerry Ltd. shareholders US$9 a share to take the company private have been met with mixed reactions.

Fairfax has a good track record for saving financially-troubled companies, but it doesn’t bring any technology experience to the handset maker – unlike, for example, Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm which has had investments in a who’s who of U.S. tech companies including Avaya Inc. and Skype.

Now there’s word that BlackBerry has made pitches to a number of tech giants – including Intel Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Google Inc., SAP and Asian handset makers Samsung Electronics and LG – about selling all or parts of itself to them.

The report came from Reuters over the weekend.

However, carefully reading the story there’s no indication that the companies approached have made any replies.

As part of its survival strategy, BlackBerry would certainly be making pitches to anyone in related industries who could see value in its assets, including its secure network and industrial-strength operating system.

The Fairfax initial proposal – and it isn’t a firm offer until it completes a close look at BlackBerry’s books – doesn’t preclude the Canadian company from searching for alternate buyers.

However, BlackBerry would have to pay Fairfax a penalty if it clichés an alternate deal.

Separately, BlackBerry announced Monday a multi-platform cloud-based mobility management solution will debut next month. Like the on-premise BlackBerry Enterprise Services, it will allow IT administrators to activate and deploy BlackBerry, Apple iOS and Android devices, as well as provide application management, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring.

Admins will also be able to build a catalog of public apps from BlackBerry World, the Apple App Store and Google Play.

No pricing was announced, but BlackBerry said there will be a single monthly subscription that covers the licence and technical support.

Pete Devenyi, BlackBerry’s senior vice-president for enterprise software, said in an interview that the cloud service is not a substitute for the tight security of BES 10 in an on-premise server. While the cloud service will offer “the highest possible security that one can achieve in a cloud-based solution.”

In any cloud offering “you use the security that’s built into the Internet protocols for end to end security,” he said.

For those who want “the utmost in security” they should buy BES 10, and either use BlackBerry handsets or, if using Android or Apple devices, add the company’s SecureWorkspace option, Devenyi said.

But because the goal is to get a mobile management solution running in minutes “it will be particularly interesting to smaller company, medium-sized companies that really want to move their management platform into the cloud at a cost-effective price.”








    • Sorry to say but the Z30 is the wrong design just as the Z10 was. It’s due to launching a product that already has been done by rivals, in this overly flooded market place.

  1. perhaps BlackBerry need someone outside IM & ICT to assist it in “throwing away the box” and start thinking anew rather than trying to work inside or outside the “box”.

  2. BlackBerry top management, including the Board, should stop this apparently endless game of options and alternatives and get on with managing their existing business to make it more efficient and effective, When individual decisions are made, they can be done without all this thrashing about, e.g., the decision announced Mon. Oct 7, that BB is introducing a New Network Service called Monday in the article above as:
    -” a BB ( or RIM) multi-platform cloud-based mobility management solution,” that will be debut next month.”
    ” -Like the on-premise BlackBerry Enterprise Services, it will allow IT administrators to activate and deploy BlackBerry, Apple iOS and Android devices, as well provide application management, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring.”
    ” – Administrators will also be able to build a catalogue of Public Apps from Blackberry World, the Apple App store and Google Play.”
    ” – No pricing or schedule details were announce, but BB said there will be a single monthly subscription that covers licence (or license in USA) and technical support.”
    – More information and options re: security arrangements are give in the bottom 1/3 of page 2 of this article.
    This sounds like a typical low key Canadian technical digest article. I think that “THIS IS A RATHER EXCITING AND INNOVATIVE TECHNICAL ADVANCEMENT
    -Get some good Marketing and PR going on this, instead of all the idle speculation about what might happen!
    -Who said the BlackBerry is dead !
    – Beat the Drum! (Apple surely would–and have you panting to get it,)
    ( Personally, I think that the original Company name was better and easily abbreviated to RIM, but still means something exciting when you say the whole title> Now what does the abbreviated word BB do for you or anyone else?)
    7 Oct 2013

  3. Another approach for BB (top) management to consider:
    The BB Z-30 Smarter Cellphone or innovative” Phablet” (or Superphone) is to hit the Canadian Market next week ! Where’s the hype” where and when? an when?
    -Beat the Drum–Get Marketing and Selling its new or innovative Features!
    How much improvement in signal would one expect “in-band”, with the new automatically tuned antenna; or does it really only have value when working in different bands? How much improvement might one expect then?
    -Add an “jack-in-the-back” to allow for direct connection to an external antenna, for
    several advantages. Make this set option if you like, with a line of accessories to be made to go with it.
    -What has been the response overseas, despite all the negative opinions fro unqualified people, encouraged by the media, that is hurting sales of current
    – Also, I read yesterday now, of fears of a new downturn in the economy again, with the Canadian manufacturing recovery falling behind the USA manufacturing recovery, for a few reasons. This may hurt sales in Canada too( G & M Business section, Oct 7, 2013).
    This fine” phablet “may need some vigorous marketing. It partially provides an
    answer to the complaint the BB no longer has a tablet available to work with their phones–no wonder your installed base is eroding quickly! Can you not make an APP so that an available Android Tablet will work with the BB Bridge–old or New phones?
    -Through better management, get on top of your stock system, but not by a wholesale junking or discounting program like was done with the BB Playbook.
    Now they are not available in stores or even in their catalogues. (You may still find a good used one by searching on the internet. Most users like it.
    – Take this as an opportunity to improve your forecasting, ordering, shipping, stocking, selling and feedback to get just-in time deliver of your sets. Monitor your stock level and key indicators , to take corrective ordering, manufacturing and shipping in line with current demand. Basic good management techniques will help you tremendously!

  4. Not true anymore all BlackBerry’s rivals possess the same quality pertaining to security features, what do you think BlackBerry, there stupid?

  5. Agree with Ron Gibbins, Nepean, ON.
    Blackberry top management should do something to save the company!!! There are a lot to do, at least to try to save the company. I believe BB has a lot to offer to the market. BUT, if the top management keep on doing things like this, or more accurately, keep on destroying the company, the BB we loved so much will gone in a few months! Go home, 55 Million man! Go home BB board. Let talent people take over. We may still have a turnaround story.


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