Advertisement

Smartphone pioneer BlackBerry bows out of the market

Iconic smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced it is pulling out of the consumer market.

BlackBerry, the ailing smartphone maker, is to be bought by a consortium of Canadian Investment companies for $4.7bn and taken private. The buyout is being spearheaded by Fairfax Financial, which already owns 10% of BlackBerry. BlackBerry announced last week that it was abandoning the consumer market after its latest handset flopped, writing off almost $1bn of unsold phone inventory and axeing 40% of its staff.

What the commentators said

But in recent years "sleek phones" from Apple and Google's Android have come to dominate the consumer market, while BlackBerry's key business of selling devices to corporate customers "is also under attack", said Economist.com's Schumpeter blog. More firms are letting workers use their own smartphones in offices or factories.

Advertisement - Article continues below

One possible source of hope is the device-management business: the software that allows companies to monitor and control the smartphones in their corporate networks. But in this area, "the firm has been slower than competitors" to adapt to a world "in which companies are grappling with a smorgasbord of smartphones, tablets and other devices" from a wide variety of suppliers.

In short, the company does not appear to have a long-term strategy to rebuild its business, said Jan Dawson of Ovum. So unless Fairfax can make some radical changes very quickly indeed, the odds are that we are seeing "the end for one of the most iconic brands in mobile technology".

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Broker safety – your questions answered
Investment strategy

Broker safety – your questions answered

Cris Sholto Heaton answers more of your questions about the safety of stockbroker accounts
25 Mar 2020
How demographics affects stock valuations
Investment strategy

How demographics affects stock valuations

New research suggests that stock and bond valuations are driven by the age of the population – at least in the US.
24 Feb 2020
Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now
Stocks and shares

Do you own shares in Sirius Minerals? Here’s what you need to do now

Mining giant Anglo American has proposed a cash takeover of Yorkshire-based minnow Sirius Minerals. Unhappy shareholders must decide whether to accept…
20 Feb 2020
Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020
Stockmarkets

Why investors should be “cautiously bullish” for 2020

Analysts have been out in force making rosy predictions for stockmarkets in 2020, but while there is certainly a case for optimism, investors should r…
17 Jan 2020

Most Popular

An economics lesson from my barber
Inflation

An economics lesson from my barber

On reopening his shop after lockdown, Dominic Frisby’s barber doubled his prices. It’s all part of the post-Covid inflation process – and we’re going …
8 Jul 2020
Can Rishi Sunak save the economy with stamp duty cuts and half-price meal deals?
UK Economy

Can Rishi Sunak save the economy with stamp duty cuts and half-price meal deals?

John Stepek runs his eye over the chancellor's £30bn stimulus package and asks if it's enough to get the economy back on its feet after months of lock…
9 Jul 2020
A first-half home run for investment trusts
Sponsored

A first-half home run for investment trusts

The investment trust sector has seen some extraordinary performance in the first half of this year. Max King looks at what's behind it, and asks: is i…
7 Jul 2020