BlakBerry has announced it has formed a committee to "explore strategic alternatives" and is open to selling the company.
Things haven't been going the way BlackBerry was hoping its comeback story would unfold. If you snooze you lose in the mobile world, and BlackBerry is the latest company to validate that fact.
BlackBerry has announced that it has setup a special committee to "explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase sales in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment." The company has revealed what these "alternatives" could come in the form of partnering in joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, or sell the company.
BlackBerry is eerily facing what Palm faced a few years ago. Palm's webOS was the company's next-generation operating system that would replace Palm OS on its smartphones. When the company announced the Palm Pre and webOS at CES 2009 it stole the show and won awards for its new OS and smartphone. webOS offered a fresh, gesture driven based OS with features that were so impressive, they have been copied by both Apple and Google in their mobile operating systems.
Just like BlackBerry, Palm faced many delays in launching its next-generation OS and watched iOS and Android quickly become the two major players in the smartphone world. As impressive as webOS was, it could not compete with Apple and Google. The company decided that the only way to stay alive was to explore what BlackBerry is currently exploring. HP eventually acquired Palm and as fast as it acquired the company, it killed webOS and the hardware running on it.
BlackBerry is finding itself in the same predicament as Palm and the only way to survive will likely come at the expense of selling the company. BlackBerry released a press release announcing the news.
"During the past year, management and the Board have been focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform and BES 10, establishing a strong financial position, and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders," said Timothy Dattels, Chairman of BlackBerry's Special Committee of the Board. "Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives.
"We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition," added Thorsten Heins, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry. "As the Special Committee focuses on exploring alternatives, we will be continuing with our strategy of reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10, as well as driving adoption of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, launching the multi-platform BBM social messaging service, and pursuing mobile computing opportunities by leveraging the secure and reliable BlackBerry Global Data Network."
We'll have to stay tuned and see how this plays out and hopefully for BlackBerry's sake, it won't end up like Palm.