As BlackBerry’s share price continues to tumble ever further downwards, the firm is shifting strategies, trading in competition in the handheld market for focus in provision of smart phone services. Even as the declining company makes it’s latest bid to survive however, its board is considering its remaining options, including an outright sale.
Despite the well known brand being considered by some of well known private equity players in the last 18 months, most of the bigger firms have decided not to make a bid for the failing company, but does this really mean death for the brand?
The company is a risky bet for the traditional firms, mainly due to the signs of decline that seems entirely irreversible to a growing group of analysts, bankers and executives. Private equity firms often make acquisitions which they believe can be turned around through some sort of management change or radical restructuring program. BlackBerry has a bigger problem though, in that it’s devices have fallen out of favour with all but a few hardcore devotees, and it’s traditionally prized feature – the secure network – has become easier for competitors to replicate.
Analysts at prviate equity firms who have examined BlackBerry say its device management business would have been valuable a few years ago but has grown gradually less appealing a competition has eaten up market share.
All of this isn’t to say that BlackBerry is worthless. Companies that specialise in distressed opportunities or have specialism in tech firms could still find value there, but in our opinion this would require some stroke of the firms old genius to reinvent mobile computing, and we just can’t see it happening.
To regain the trust of the customers which the company has lost will require more than empty words, and the bold gesture people are looking for may never materialise. We’ve always liked BlackBerry though (indeed two thirds of our staff still choose to use them), and we hope they can be salvaged from their downward spiral.