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BlackBerry Founders May Try To Take Over the Company

Soulskill posted 1 year,14 days | from the they-want-to-add-a-second-physical-keyboard dept.

Blackberry 118

New submitter Adamsobert sends this excerpt from the NY Times: "In a regulatory filing on Thursday, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin said that they were considering a bid for the 92 percent of the company that they do not own. ... Their potential bid joins a growing list of expressions of interest in the company, which recently reported a $1 billion quarterly loss caused by the market's rejection of new smartphones that were supposed to revive BlackBerry's prominence. Fairfax Financial Holdings of Toronto has made a conditional, nonbinding offer to buy the 90 percent of BlackBerry shares it does not own for $9 each. That would value the company at about $4.7 billion."

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Yea what a great idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100415)

They did such a great job running it before...

Re:Yea what a great idea (2)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100473)

Not that I see Mike Lazaridis or Douglas Fregin as a Steve Jobs, but the same could be said about Jobs when he returned to Apple. Sometimes, leaving and coming back is a good thing. It can provide a unique perspective.

Re:Yea what a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100515)

It hasn't been long enough, nor have they done anything in the mean time to grow from. They didn't even *really* leave.

Re:Yea what a great idea (4, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100605)

You realize that Mike Lazaridis only just resigned from the board only like 7 months ago, right? Jobs was gone from Apple for more than a decade. The two situations are hardly comparable.

Re:Yea what a great idea (2)

stiggle (649614) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100677)

Jobs also setup NeXT after leaving Apple, proving he could make another company selling nicely designed expensive GUI systems :-)

Re:Yea what a great idea (3, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100939)

He also basically failed at that, NeXT was in trouble when Apple acquired them (as was Apple).

It's funny how two failing companies combined and turned into such a hugely successful one.

Re:Yea what a great idea (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101669)

NeXT had great products (particularly OS and development environment) but no way to scale up to bring them to enough market to make them viable.
Apple had slipped and needed great products but had a large enough market.

Re:Yea what a great idea (1)

T-Ranger (10520) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102519)

It was the greatest switcheroos in my knowledge of IT corporate M&As.

NeXT was paid to take over Apple.

Re:Yea what a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100671)

SJ spent the decade he was gone designing an OS that would become OS X and iOS

Re:Yea what a great idea (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100679)

SJ spent the decade he was gone designing an OS that would become OS X and iOS

And learned how to manage a company. I understand his biopic allocates 15 seconds to this part of his life.

Re:Yea what a great idea (2)

clickclickdrone (964164) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100973)

>SJ spent the decade he was gone designing an OS that would become OS X and iOS
No he didn't. Jobs wasn't a designer. What he did was assemble teams of people who did good design for him. Where he excelled, if anything was recognising good stuff when he sees it and pushing hard on mediocre stuff until it was good.

Re:Yea what a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102649)

Sounds like a perfect manager. He also started from BSD code, not from scratch.

Re:Yea what a great idea (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101043)

He designed BSD?

Re:Yea what a great idea (1)

Dwonis (52652) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102989)

No, NeXTSTEP.

Haha fail (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100417)

He already ran the company into this situation. The problems at Blackberry are so bad that even a child could spot them, I know a few of the staff being laid off and they with out even trying can pick out the issues. If you never meet deadlines, never innovate, copy the market and become stale, you fail.

Re: Haha fail (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100543)

It's worse than that. If they had copied the competition earlier they would probably be in a better position today.

Re: Haha fail (-1, Flamebait)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100617)

Yep, it's the play that Samsung made and they've made out like bandits.

Re: Haha fail (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101689)

Yep, it's the play that Samsung made and they've made out like bandits.

Hey! Didn't you hear that Apple's going to say something in a couple weeks? APPLE! Going to SAY SOMETHING! There are THINGS that will be spoken by SOMEONE AT APPLE!!! In just A COUPLE WEEKS!!!! You should be working yourself into a masturbatory frenzy checking rumor sites or something! Stop wasting time in this thread, you've got some fanboyish drooling to do! Get back to work, acolyte! The Saint Jobs iCloning Project won't fund ITSELF, you know!

Re: Haha fail (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103335)

Hey look some rabid anti-Apple tard like the person who modded me down. I wasn't making any statement about Samsung "stealing" from Apple. Simply that Samsung copied what other players (even other Android handset makers were doing) and has such is the one making most of the money in the Android space.

Re: Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100669)

I'm glad they didn't copy the competition. BB10 is so much better. I hope they survive so they can continue its development.

Re: Haha fail (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100725)

BB10 is so much better.

No, it's merely evolutionary based on what has already been available for years. By 2012, BB10 was only impressive to people who were still using BB7-based phones. What you and BlackBerry seem to fail to realize is that merely being somewhat better is not good enough. You have to be WAY better than the rest and BB10 is simply not that.

Re: Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100845)

To each his own, but as someone who has owned iOS devices for 5 yrs and used numerous Android devices, BB10 is truly SO much better. Each time I use one of those phones now I find myself wishing for BB10's functionality. You may have different usage patterns, but BB10 is really that much better than current iOS and Android offerings. What's sad is that so many people, apparently like you, are so locked into their phone/OS of choice that they never gave BB10 a chance. People spout issues with old BB devices and show they have clearly never given BB10 a chance.

Re: Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100933)

To each his own, but as someone who has owned iOS devices for 5 yrs and used numerous Android devices, BB10 is truly SO much better. Each time I use one of those phones now I find myself wishing for BB10's functionality. You may have different usage patterns, but BB10 is really that much better than current iOS and Android offerings. What's sad is that so many people, apparently like you, are so locked into their phone/OS of choice that they never gave BB10 a chance. People spout issues with old BB devices and show they have clearly never given BB10 a chance.

Even the blackberry 7.1 OS is better. My Android is a piece of crap, a 600 dollar mistake I'll never make again. At least everything works properly on the blackberry.

You were robbed (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101115)

My Android is a piece of crap, a 600 dollar mistake I'll never make again.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Android-Smartphones-iPhone-Apple-Google,21043.html [tomshardware.com]

"The research firm's survey, which had over 300,000 worldwide smartphone owners participating, found that consumers are most satisfied with Motorola’s Atrix HD and Droid Razr M. Those devices are followed by HTC’s Rezound 4G and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2. The iPhone 5s rating of 8.23 made Apple's flagship device settle for the fifth spot."

your views differ from others.

Re:You were robbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101291)

My Android is a piece of crap, a 600 dollar mistake I'll never make again.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Android-Smartphones-iPhone-Apple-Google,21043.html [tomshardware.com]

"The research firm's survey, which had over 300,000 worldwide smartphone owners participating, found that consumers are most satisfied with Motorola’s Atrix HD and Droid Razr M. Those devices are followed by HTC’s Rezound 4G and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2. The iPhone 5s rating of 8.23 made Apple's flagship device settle for the fifth spot."

your views differ from others.

I agree, it's obvious they do, but when I struggle with the email client - a basic function (not gmail) then to me it is unusable. I have to keep killing the process, I tried many factory resets, I don't install anything but the updates to the built in apps. I'm not happy at all. I can't transfer files with a cable(MTP crap), it has no SD card so I can't move them that way, the camera and screen is very nice though.
No, I sure as hell don't want an iPhone either.

Re:You were robbed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101879)

Well an iPhone would get you working email, transfer files via cable and a nice camera & screen.

Not sure what you're whining about.

Re:You were robbed (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102085)

I can't transfer files with a cable(MTP crap), it has no SD card

Seems like a really poor job of researching your $600 purchase, since $100 android phones do both.

Re:You were robbed (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,14 days | (#45104823)

I certainly don't know what the AC's talking about. I only paid $125 for my Kyocera and have yet to find anything that doesn't work, best phone I've ever had. Hell, it's the first phone I don't have to carry a baggie in my wallet in case I get caught in a downpour (lost an LG that way), it's waterproof.

I suspect you responded to a Microsoft shill or an Apple fanboi. I also don't understand why anyone would pay $600 for a fragile, easily ruined device that you have to put a bulky cover over to make sure it doesn't break, plus buy insurance for it when you can get a $125 phone that will do all the same things as the $600 phone that you don't have to worry too much about it getting trashed.

But that's what happens when you buy bling. I understand that BMWs are pretty unreliable, too, but I've never owned one (why would I want one? It won't do anything my ten year old Chrysler won't). IMO bling says "I'm a moron."

Re: Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101233)

but as someone who has owned iOS devices for 5 yrs and used numerous Android devices, BB10 is truly SO much better.

I haven't tried BB10, the old OS drove me nuts. That said, I feel much the same way about my webos devices. You can pry them from my cold/dead fingers. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that they were such a niche market that the content and phone industry didn't pound non-features into them. I really like being able to plug the device in, have it show up as a USB device and copy movies/music to/from it. I also like having a linux command line available, a real web browser with flash, and developing apps using a sane environment (aka no java!).

Now, all that said, the platform could really use some "bug fixing"/tuning. Its fairly stable (probably more so than the andoid phones I've used), but there are a couple bugs that show up repeatedly (sound bug on the touchpad for example) and the browser seems to choke on some web sites.

Re:Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100625)

You clearly know nothing about BB10. While your statements are true of past BB OS releases, BB10 is clearly in a different category. Apple, in fact, has ripped off a number of their gestures in iOS7. Poorly I might add. I have a BB10 phone and iOS7 devices, and to a letter every iOS7 swipe is nonsensical and feels out of place. Compare that to BB10, where the swipe interface flows smoothly and makes sense. It's clear that BB10 was designed from the ground up to support this type of interface whereas iOS7 has tacked it on in a disjointed fashion. Same can be said of BB10's HUB and other features, some of which Apple clearly stole.

Your statements about lacking innovation are clearly off base. However, your statement bout meeting deadlines is spot on. They need better estimating or some internal accountability.

Re:Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100657)

Butthurt fanboi is butthurt. BB10 was too little too late. Hence why both the Z10 and Q10 were humungous failures.

Re:Haha fail (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100691)

BB10 would have seemed awesome and innovative... in 2008. By 2012 it was not nearly as impressive hence the fact that phones running it have sold extremely poorly. Nor do most people even know of or care what a BlackBerry is anymore.

Re:Haha fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100877)

And none of that has anything to do with the founders who completely fucked over the company.

Re:Haha fail (1)

ami.one (897193) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102689)

Let me be blunt here - all these trolls saying BB10 is not good enough - have never really used it. Probably just played with it for a minute in the store or saw someone using it.

ANYONE who has used a BB Z10 for at least a few days as their main phone - will never EVER find iOS / Android / WP good enough. It is in a class of its own. And yes, Apple as well as Android are copying some of BB10 features.

It is true that BB is going down and their management was too slow to launch the new OS & devices. But the people who designed & developed BB10 are truly some of the best.

Re:Haha fail (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103415)

ANYONE who has used a BB Z10 for at least a few days as their main phone - will never EVER find iOS / Android / WP good enough.

I used a Z10 for a week then returned it. It was nothing special and didn't have most of the apps I use. Maybe in the bubble you've constructed this may be true but the billion dollar write-down on unsold hardware says otherwise.

Re:Haha fail (1)

swalve (1980968) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103827)

I would disagree. They became powerful by innovating and being really good at their business-y niche. The faltered when they tried to cater to the masses with cheap phones and "cool" features. If they had stuck to the slightly autistic way of doing things, the Bold 9900 would be 3/16 of an inch thin and have a week of talk time.

Why? (3, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100451)

What's the actual value (not market value, actual value) of BlackBerry? What are they going to get for that ~$5bn? It seems to me BlackBerry aren't competitive in the handset market any more and don't stand any chance of becoming so any time soon. They are pushing BBM for other platforms now, are they trying to pivot and become a messaging company? Again, I don't see how they are competitive or how they will make money.

Re:Why? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100467)

They won't be competitive. These are the same folks that sat on their hands while Apple ate their lunch and Google took their dinner. Their plan is to piss away $5bn worth of someones money and pocket as much of it as possible themselves while letting the company fail as slowly as possible.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100567)

unless.....

they re-tool and simply set up a device to run a Tiny FireFox OS.
free up some of those precious memories of having those darned Canucks boasting that their encrypted streams route through Canadian intelligence backdoored Canada! a whole two years before Snowdon!

instant bestseller!

shame about those (very seriously) pesky israelis stealing EVERYONES data tho, kudos to blackberry if they can prevent the israelis from accessing private data next time around.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102817)

a whole two years before Snowdon!

What? Do you want therapists to win?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100623)

> What's the actual value (not market value, actual value) of BlackBerry?

Their actual value is somewhere in the neighborhood of about $12bn (around $6bn if they were to cease operations today, and not sell any assets). Whomever gets them at less than that is pocketing free money. This is the best possible example of the market being more of a popularity contest than a true reflection of valuation.

Re:Why? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100909)

1) How did you come up with that number?

2) Does that take into account that they lost nearly a Billion dollars this past quarter? At this rate they''d actually be worth nothing in three years. That is factored into the the market valuation, is it in yours?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102879)

market being more of a popularity contest than a true reflection of valuation.

I have some friends who are in love with Blackberry but considering to either switch to iphone/Android or carry a second device around. To put it into your quote above: they are still popular but their true value is shit.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100631)

company still sitting on lots of cash (I remember it was around 2-3 mil) , and expect to get $500 mil back in taxes. Also they have lots of patents in wireless area.

Re:Why? (1)

Desler (1608317) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103429)

2-3 million dollars is not "lots of cash".

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100655)

Well, about $2B in cash, no debt, one of the biggest patent portfolios on mobile tech, global datacenter presence, direct links and relationships with over 150 carriers, a manufacturing chain, and still around 60 million customers - and a brand, while presently negative, that is internationally known. At $9 a share from Fairfax, they could do nothing but shut down the company, sell the assets, and make money.

That being said, I have a BB10 device, and I honestly believe they have a quality product. Their problems are more about marketing, advertising, and un-fucking their relationships with various companies and carriers (they obviously pissed in Netflix's wheaties, since they refuse to release a BB10 app, whereas Netflix will put their software on just about anything). Yes, the company was poorly managed these past 5-6 years, but they're not "worthless". They've managed to piss off the carriers and some developers. That's most of the problem.

Re:Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100785)

Cool story. Would be a lot cooler if you didn't work for Blackberry. It's not like you hide your identity well Aaron Wiebe.

ad hominem (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101829)

Cool story. Would be a lot cooler if you didn't work for Blackberry. It's not like you hide your identity well Aaron Wiebe.

I don't have an e-dog in this e-fight, but c'mon, why don't you address his points (and debunk them if you have the arguments to do so) instead of launching an ad-hominem?

Re:Why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100795)

try harder shill http://github.com/epiphani - emailing your post to RIM's PR department

Re:Why? (2)

epiphani (254981) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100907)

Oh go for it. I don't work there anymore. I'm not exactly sure what that has to do with my post though.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101127)

Oh go for it. I don't work there anymore. I'm not exactly sure what that has to do with my post though.

He's a loser and can't stand when someone doesn't have the same opinions as him. There's so much anger here directed at Blackberry, maybe a phone that actually works all the time makes them nervous?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101301)

maybe a phone that actually works all the time makes them nervous

While you may be correct about his loser-itude... how many battery pull apps are there on the Blackberry App World?

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45103041)

It has everything to do with your post. You should have disclosed that instead of "I have a BB10 device", otherwise it becomes just that he called you out on -- shilling for your company. As somebody who worked there you can provide a very valuable view as an insider but be blind to some of the obvious problems that only cutomers can see, and it is the fleeing customers who currently drive the company out of business.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100855)

forget to click the post as AC button there bro?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101047)

Yea i'd be fluffing Blackberry if I was an $80k IT lifer there too!

Re:Why? (1)

swb (14022) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103691)

Their actual value is what someone will pay for them and this is basically what their *market* value is.

They have a hard asset value (real estate, buildings, machinery, cash minus debts & obligations) but it's probably not all that much.

Most of their value is in the brand, the technology and most importantly their patents, but I don't know how they value these and they're very "soft" values subject to interpretation.

I'd have to guess that there are no existing devices that actually infringe on Blackberry's patents (at least not enough that they could be sued for) and if they did, there may be a cross-licensing deal which probably has all kinds of riders that say that the deal goes with the patents, making the "value" of the patent more strategic than cash.

Hope they hang around (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100481)

Replaced my Galaxy Nexus part way through contract with a low end Blackberry(9320). I couldn't deal with the email not working correctly anymore, the Nexus was so unreliable. This cheap ass Blackberry has never failed me yet.

Recipe for succes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100571)

Make it the safest telephone ever.
With heavy encryption, plugins for blocking all data harvesters and no NSA eaves dropping.
Since it is a non-US based company, it should be possible.
I would already be happy with a low-app, low-cost monochrome e-ink phone with extreme battery life, as long as it is very secure.
Just for business communication. That's what blackberry should be used for. Stay in that market niche.

Then I'll read Facebook and Twitter on my other, bloated, battery draining spyware infested color telephone.

Or combine both systems into one, but remember to keep the data channels physically separated.

Congresses reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101017)

With heavy encryption, plugins for blocking all data harvesters and no NSA eaves dropping.
Since it is a non-US based company, it should be possible.

I guaranty you - without ANY doubt whatsoever - some mundane dipshit little bill will have a rider on it that outlaws that phone.

We will never hear about the bill because the media just focuses on distraction topics that gets people's blood boiling - abortion, gun rights, gay marriage, and "entitlements" (although, Medicare is NEVER mentioned when it is in fact THE largest expense of the US Government - ask yourself why.).

Re:Congresses reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101403)

some mundane dipshit little bill will have a rider on it that outlaws that phone.

Not even really necessary, they will just go after the phone companies to enforce a wiretap loophole on units they sell. Its already the law, its basically illegal to sell a product in the US that cannot be wiretapped. Sure, you may be able to import one without the loophole, but you and the couple dozen other people doing the same won't keep blackberry operating. They need to sell into the mainstream market, and to do that they need someone with a US business presence. That presence will be the one that government goes after.

Re:Recipe for succes (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102283)

Brilliant! That'll sell at LEAST DOZENS! Company saved!

Re:Recipe for succes (1)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103771)

> With heavy encryption, plugins for blocking all data
> harvesters and no NSA eaves dropping. Since it is a
> non-US based company, it should be possible.

RIM has already caved on that score and built in backdoors to let India eavesdrop on Blackberry users' communications. If they'll do it for India, do you really think they wouldn't do so for any first-world nation that asks? Do you really think the NSA hasn't already asked? I wouldn't trust any of those assumptions to be true any farther than I could spit a rat.

Bail Out (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100603)

I don't get it - Blackberry has basically failed. These guys obviously made a lot of money when it WAS successful in order to even have the capital to attempt this - why not just let it go and retire. When you have more money than any one person could likely ever spend doing normal day-to-day living, why risk it just for the chance to make even more money that you can't spend fast enough?

Re:Bail Out (1)

Keruo (771880) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100649)

why not just let it go and retire

Not everything in life is about money, atleast when you have enough not to worry if you can pay the rent or maybe buy food tomorrow.
Having extra time and nothing to do can be really dulling and boring in numerous ways.
The company is their baby. They built it and they want to see it succeed.
Sometimes it's good to scale back and rethink the direction.

Re:Bail Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100653)

It's this attitude which will prevent you from ever earning any sum of money. Successful entrepreneurs do it for the love of building and running something. They crave the power, the love of the game, something more than just earning dollars at the end of the day. These guys obviously love RIM, and would love to turn it around. I think it's impossible and their own attitudes ruined it in the first place but... more power to 'em.

Re:Bail Out (1)

matt328 (916281) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100711)

You are a fool if you think these guys are motivated by anything but desire to amass more wealth.

Re:Bail Out (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101609)

The desire to change the world, to make an impact, to work for yourself, to work with competent people and see ideas come to life have nothing to do with it, right?That's why they're prepared to *spend* $5B to reacquire the company they built. Money's a nice motivator and a great reward, but it is far, far from the only reason why someone might do something like this, especially with such a huge upfront investment. Come back when you've built something of your own.

Re:Bail Out (1)

u38cg (607297) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102521)

And that attitude is probably why they have a billion dollars to throw around and you don't :p

I thought Fairfax was short $1B? (1)

DaveyJJ (1198633) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100687)

I was under the impression, and had read reports in the last few days, that said Fairfax's offer wasn't going to happen at $9 because they were unable to get that much cash together for the deal? I think some are suggesting they are about $1B short and that $7/share was more realistic for them. That was why other players are now starting to seriously think about offers now, including Google and MS again? Or am I simply mistaken, and am having yet another one of my "old" moments?

Re:I thought Fairfax was short $1B? (1)

davester666 (731373) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103765)

Yes, they do seem to be having some difficulty finding other people willing to help provide the cash for the cheque they want to hand over.

Lazaridis is insane (4, Funny)

Mr. X (17716) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100695)

Lazaridis is insane... why would he believe he could run BlackBerry any better today than he did before?

Re:Lazaridis is insane (2)

Bradmont (513167) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101299)

No, it's that he feels he hasn't finished beating the horse. It's not quite dead yet.

Oh, if only... (2)

jcr (53032) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100757)

I knew I should have shorted them the day the iPhone was announced...

-jcr

Except that would have been stupid (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100885)

I knew I should have shorted them the day the iPhone was announced...

-jcr

Their share price dropped from an all time high at around that very time, but blackberry continued to grow for three more years. What killed blackberry was not the iPhone, but poor decisions, like its ill fated tablet, and its late blackberry 10 operating system.

Re:Oh, if only... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100921)

I knew I should have shorted them the day the iPhone was announced...

-jcr

If you switch from Blackberry to Apple at the drop of a hat, does that make you a Blackberry and Apple tart?

Re:Oh, if only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102385)

And you obviously know nothing about investing. It's quite expensive to hold a short position for any length of time (there is interest charged to you). Especially for the years it would have taken before RIM stock declined enough to make you a profit. Also in that time you would have been massively in the red, costing you even more to hold the position.

Too late (1)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100801)

Apple has the high-end smart-phone market, Android the mid and low end, and - horror of honours it looks as though Blackberry's old corporate market for centrally controlled and secured phones might be going to MicroSoft.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45100897)

Android the mid and low end, and - horror of honours it looks as though Blackberry's old corporate market for centrally controlled and secured phones might be going to MicroSoft.

Did you mean by "corporate market" monstrous devices that barely work, are slow, give all control of the device to faceless corporate drones, and can only read microsoft office documents? Got ya.

Re:Too late (1)

Chrisq (894406) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101005)

Android the mid and low end, and - horror of honours it looks as though Blackberry's old corporate market for centrally controlled and secured phones might be going to MicroSoft.

Did you mean by "corporate market" monstrous devices that barely work, are slow, give all control of the device to faceless corporate drones, and can only read microsoft office documents? Got ya.

Ignoring the first part (I'm no Microsoft fan but having seen a colleagues W8 phone it works and is of reasonable speed) a device that "gives all control of the device to faceless corporate drones, and can only read microsoft office documents" is exactly what many corporations want. They have no need to read other document types, and rather you didn't install your own apps and possibly compromise security, and if you lose the phone or leave and don't return it they want to remotely wipe it.

Its not what I'd want in a personal phone - but for a company with people on the rode who need to check secure documents, central calendars, and corporate email there is a market for them.

Re:Too late (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101445)

That may be a dwindling market, though. People hate having to carry around multiple devices, and an increasing number of companies are re-thinking their mobile device and security policies. Wherever bring-your-own-device is introduced, I've seen a massive shift away from company provided Blackberries to personal devices, even in places where there's a choice between a company phone and BYOD. People are even willing to pay for the convenience of having corporate info on a private smartphone, by paying for the data and making the occasional business call on their own dime.

Re:Too late (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103627)

I recently got a Blackberry Z10, and I'm actually thinking of giving away my personal iPhone now.

Re:Too late (1)

c (8461) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101617)

Its not what I'd want in a personal phone - but for a company with people on the rode who need to check secure documents, central calendars, and corporate email there is a market for them.

That's kind of the problem, though. When a corporation issues someone a mobile phone, there's a certain desire and expectation that they're going to be carrying it pretty much all the time.

When that person owns a personal phone that they perceive as "better" than the Blackberry, they start to leave the BB in their jacket/in the car/at home/at the office more and more often, effectively undermining the reason it was issued in the first place. After all, who wants to carry two phones?

So yes, corporations would prefer that phones work a certain way, but they definitely would prefer that they have a presence on the phones their employees actually carry. There's a huge market there for whoever comes up with a feasible way to balance all that.

Re:Too late (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101031)

Did you mean by "corporate market" monstrous devices that barely work, are slow, give all control of the device to faceless corporate drones, and can only read microsoft office documents?

Yes, corporations like all those features.

Not even close (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100923)

Apple has the high-end smart-phone market, Android the mid and low end, and - horror of honours it looks as though Blackberry's old corporate market for centrally controlled and secured phones might be going to MicroSoft.

Not even close. Apple occupy the unique position of being a mid range; low cost; high priced; highly subsidised phone that limitied its penetration to the US where its brand has a lot of power. In China its a joke. Android occupy the Low; Mid and High range as well as all sizes; tastes; unique designs. Microsoft have made a tiny bit of growth, at the very bottom end of "Nokias" traditional markets...its a topic to itself.

Re:Not even close (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102821)

Oh hey its Tuppe666! Slashdots finest Apple basher and Google lover.

Re:Not even close (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45103347)

Not even close. Apple occupy the unique position of being a mid range; low cost; high priced;

Same $649 out of contract price as top Samsung / HTC devices... Apple faster in all benchmarks, generally agreed better build quality... mid ranged / high priced wut?

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101067)

Yes, there is absolutely no room for any other phone nor is there room for any new competitor to push Android or iOS out. It will be this way in 2050 and forever. That is why I am typing this on an Altair.

"New Interest" is needed (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100861)

One of the rarely spoken problems with Blackberry is that it had become stale. Somehow they mistakenly thought "oh hey, these touchscreen phones are what people want! let's make one too!" It wasn't the touchscreen. It was the apps and the user interface. Being able to do so much more with a phone is the big deal... but it also makes a phone into a toy and a huge distraction. Blackberry is a "business device."

That Blackberry is a business device which is well established for its security and other business-centric features is functional, but "old and stale." So what's a 'berry to do? Well, if they were to ask me, I'd tell them to build a blackberry "module" device and stick it into an Android phone. The two devices work together in that the Android provides the UI to the device which then maintains all the Blackberry core business features and the Android device accesses the data through an API. That way, Android apps can be available to keep people interested in their toy while the Blackberry-ness can continue on.

Re:"New Interest" is needed (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,14 days | (#45100957)

"Toy" has been the common "business" slur against Macintosh going back to beginning. It was and is a corporate putdown that is really unfair.

You can do a lot of cool looking stuff with Android (including play games) but I think the "toy" slur is just that... a slur. Android and to a lesser extent iOS are computers that have a phone function. BB started as a phone that can do some computer functions. IMHO, there Android gives you the ability to a lot more "business" than your traditional BB device, maybe at the expense of having the type of outside control that certain business IS managers would like to have.

Re:"New Interest" is needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102799)

>BB started as a phone that can do some computer functions.

If you don't include the new BB10 OS you're right. The new OS is actually the exact opposite. It's a real-time PC operating system that became a phone OS.

Re:"New Interest" is needed (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101259)

Being able to do so much more with a phone is the big deal... but it also makes a phone into a toy and a huge distraction.

You could say the same about computers in general. Being able to play games on your computer makes it into a toy and not a business tool... except that other programs you run on your computer can help your business. In the same way, there are apps for smartphones that at pure fun and games and there are other apps that can help you run your business more efficiently.

If BlackBerry just sticks to "this is our core BB experience, no apps or it'll be a toy", they're doomed to failure. (No third party apps means functionality will be greatly limited.) On the other hand, opening apps up to just anyone (see a recent Slashdot story which showed how a significant amount of BlackBerry apps were simple apps mass generated by one person) might water down the BlackBerry brand to "just another smartphone" - a race they have no hope of winning.

Honestly, I don't know how BlackBerry can stay relevant at this point beyond, perhaps, occupying an ever-shrinking niche market. I feel bad for whoever is appointed to turn the company around. They've got their work cut out for them.

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101013)

it makes sense that blackberry (formerly RIM) finds itself in their current predicament.

i went to UW between 2004-2008 and while I was astounded by the intelligence level of my fellow peers, I soon discovered that they were only good at providing the answers to problems, not the questions. and it is the questions which drive innovation; you can only profit from your answers for so long.

many of these students score very high marks while studying long hours, and since marks are used as a kind of quasi-currency at UW, those with the high marks get into the Co-op programs. and rim was/is a strong supporter of the UW co-op program, taking in hundreds of students every semester.

unsurprisingly, these students continued to work hard and solve hard problems at RIM. while no one doubts their intelligence, they fail to bring any new ideas to the table. they lack the creativity and imagination needed to incubate new products, instead sticking to "what they know" and "what works". and it cost the company in the end.

UW needs to do a better job of giving its hardcore math/cs/engineering students a more well-rounded education by exposing them more to the arts (languages, fine art, history, etc). it will give them a whole new angle from which to think and create. and no, fulfilling your first year arts requirement by taking an economics course does not count as an arts education.

What We've Got Here Is Failure to Innovate (5, Insightful)

SirAudioMan (2836381) | 1 year,14 days | (#45101117)

...and a huge amount of bloat as a company that only produces ONE product! About 5-6 years ago I used to spend many weekends (dating my future wife) in Waterloo, Ontario, where the BlackBerry/RIM's headquarters are located. I was always amazed at just how many buildings were scattered around the city just dedicated to RIM. It always seemed excessive to me!

Fast-forward to today. I was driving to work in Mississauga, Ontario (about an hour east of Waterloo) and decided to take a different route for the first time. To my surprise I saw two huge BlackBerry building that looked like they were no more than a few years old. I can only imagine this is the tip of the iceberg as to the properties, corporate jets, and huge amounts of staff they still have and are in desperate need of shedding as they are burning through cash like crazy and have almost nothing to show for it.

If Mike Lazaridis were to come back that would be the kiss of death for them - the nail in the coffin. Let's remember who was on the board (along with Ballsillie) during the times that allowed the company to a) grow massively b) fail to innovate and c) put all their eggs in one basket. Then when times got tough, both of them chickened out, sold shares and took the money and ran. Mike Lazaridis might be smart engineer who is good at technology and ceasing opportunities but is likely a lousy businessman and innovator.

BB doesn't need better hardware or better technology - they need a better leader who innovates, inspires and can see into the future much like Jobs, Page/Brin, etc. I am afraid it's far too late to save the company as they are at least one generation behind everything and have an abysmal market share. They may be good at doing email but that is very easy technology to implement/copy in other devices. Honestly the best thing that could happen to them at this point would be if somebody like Google or Micro$oft bought them for their patents and IP.

It is very sad what has happened to them and all the employees who have lost or are loosing their jobs but their downfall is almost entirely their own fault due to their arrogance, failure to innovate and lack of product diversification.

Re:What We've Got Here Is Failure to Innovate (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45102369)

I agree. We should always assume that no one ever learns anything from their past mistakes. Similar to how politicians should be crucified if they dare to change a position on anything, CEOs who chose poorly should be assumed to always choose poorly in every situation.

Nice move (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,14 days | (#45101809)

Lazaridis is a piece of shit. He knew exactly what he was doing as he burnt the company out.so he could pull this bullshit and buy it back for nothing again

Lazarides is one cause of Blackberry's problems (2)

kbahey (102895) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102571)

I live in Waterloo, and have many friends who work/worked there.

Before people think that an acquisition by the founder would save the company, please read the following in depth article: How Blackberry blew it: the inside story [theglobeandmail.com] .

While Apple and Google were building an ecosystem of developers writing thousands of apps, and a central repository for those apps, Lazarides was still focusing on battery life and a physical keyboard, and failed to see why Apple and Google were becoming so popular.

Blackberry is resigned to the fate of being #4 platform for mobile, after Google, Apple, and yes, Microsoft, with low single digit market share after being #1 before smart phones with touch screens and app store/markets.

RIM takeover (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102837)

RIM is totem pole tourism, some IP rights and a Blackberry salvage operation at best.

Give Michael a call... (2)

guytoronto (956941) | 1 year,14 days | (#45102973)

Maybe Michael Dell can put in his two-cents on how to turn the company around.

Blackberry... (2)

bayankaran (446245) | 1 year,14 days | (#45103165)

...should come up with a stripped down extra secure Android smartphone, with two profiles - a fully encrypted super secure profile for business and another for rest of the nonsense.

There is a market for the above, and they have to tom-tom "this phone will not spy on you". (Its a meaningless slogan, but might work.)

They did have the two profile version with the new phone, but the OS needs to be Android. They already have the hardware.
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