A dark day for BlackBerry: BlackBerry considers $4.7bn buyout by Fairfax

BlackBerry is sending out a lot of mixed messages this week; first it unveils its new BlackBerry Z30 device, then it announces huge job cuts across the company worldwide.  Now it has emerged that BlackBerry is considering a $4.7bn takeover deal from one of its major shareholders, Fairfax.

While we all knew that BlackBerry was in decline, many critics have expressed their surprise that the company’s demise has to come to this conclusion quite so soon.

The Canadian company, which was once known as the leader in business smartphones, expressed its concerns back in January, when it was hoped that the Z10 flagship device sporting the BB10 platform would turn the company’s fortunes around.

BlackBerry Z10 

However, following disappointing sales, BlackBerry has continued to dwindle, leading to today’s announcement.

BBM for Android and iOS delays

BlackBerry announced months ago that it planned to roll out its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) across Android and iOS 7 platforms. However, despite the apps being promised to hit app stores last weekend, BlackBerry has had to put a stop on proceedings after an unofficial Android version of the app went live on Saturday.

The unofficial app demonstrates a promising response for when BlackBerry does release its BBM app for Android, though, as 1.1 million users downloaded what they thought was the official BBM app in just 8 hours.

However, this fake app caused problems with the official BBM application, and has led to BlackBerry pausing the rolling out of BBM for Android and iOS.

In a statement issued on the BlackBerry website, the company explains: “Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.

“Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it's ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone.”

While BlackBerry isn’t to blame for this latest problem, it does mark yet another spanner in the works for the already ailing company.

Do you think BlackBerry can make it back from this? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, or to post a comment. 

Written by Charlotte Kertrestel