The BlackBerry story has been one of ups and downs and with the last few years being more down than up it may come as no surprise that the company are now considering selling up and calling it quits on the smartphone market.
A task force has been formed by the company's Board of Directors "to explore strategic alternatives to enhance and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment". Whilst that may not sound like a sales pitch it was revealed that one of the strategies could be "a sale of the Company or other possible transactions".
The committee members include CEO Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch, Bert Nordberg and Barbara Stymiest who will be set with the task of enticing potential partners for joint ventures or a sale to secure the future of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry enjoyed huge success in previous years with users loving the QWERTY keypad design of the handsets and the phones BBM service making them a hugely popular choice amongst private users and business customers alike. The handsets still remain popular but the company has been unable to compete in quantity of sales when compared with Android and Apple devices since 2011.
Many industry experts have expected the fall of BlackBerry for some time and with falling profits and recorded losses of $84m in the last quarter many are surprised the ailing company has lasted this long. The main reasons for the company's staying power has been large cash reserves and strong assets to keep them afloat.
The launch of BB10 was hoped to be a saving grace for the company with handsets like the Z10 and Q10 believed to be the answer to falling sales figures. Whilst these were received well they did not live up to expectations for the manufacturer and the BlackBerry Q5 was hoped to conquer the budget end of the market.
The announcement of the exploration of a possible sale is as much as we are going to learn for the time being as it has been stated that the rest of the process will remain under wraps and these things tend not to move quickly.
BlackBerry still has a strong reputation amongst mobile users and as one of the original mobile phone manufacturers it could be an extremely desirable choice for a smaller manufacturer looking to gain some ground on the bigger rivals in the market.
Hints at possible buyers such as Lenovo or Huawei have been circulating for some time so over the next few months it will be interesting to see who shows interest in BlackBerry.
Written by: Carmel Brown