Now that was fast. John Chen is now Blackberry’s man in charge. Former CEO Thorsten Heins stepped aside, making room for new Chief Executive John Chen, who is now responsible for what is arguable one of the most challenging jobs in tech – rebuilding BlackBerry. Chen’s yearly salary of $1 million includes a performance bonus of $2 million to start, and has also been awarded 13 million restricted shares in the company for the work he has to do. This makes Chen’s stake nearly $85 million as the shares divest over the next five years. BlackBerry is undergoing a massive restructuring that will see some 4,500 employees out of work–but Chen has a history of turning around businesses in peril. When Chen joined Sybase in 1998 it was on death’s door; and 13 years later it sold to SAP for $5.8 billion–let’s hope he can do the same for Blackberry.
Post Tagged with: "blackberry"
After its buggered official launch set back the actual launch about a month, BlackBerry Messenger is up and stable with over 20-million new users in one week. BlackBerry said Tuesday that BBM now has 80 million monthly active users; and though the company hasn’t yet said how they plan to make money from this (so we approach this news with tempered enthusiasm), it’s still some positive news the company can sorely use these days.
BlackBerry is up for sale, and the two men who founded the company are interested in taking it back. Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin co-founded RIM back in 1984; and though the company has a takeover bid on the table from Fairfax Financial, they are permitted to entertain other offers. Fairfax is reportedly struggling to meet the required financing to close their $4.7-billion takeover – so others like Lazaridis seem interested. We’ll have more as this story develops–so stay tuned.
It has not been a good week (or month) for BlackBerry. The plagued Canadian company just announced revenues of only $1.6 billion for their second quarter, which equates to a loss of $248 million. But the bigger number to pay attention to is their reported loss totaling $965 million, thanks to unsold BlackBerry Z10 units–the device the company hoped would revitalize their business. If things weren’t bad enough, T-Mobile in the U.S. has announced that it will no longer be stocking BlackBerry Products, and Jabil Circuit, who builds BlackBerry’s devices, is talking about winding down their relationship with the company as well. BlackBerry was set to hold an earnings call on Fridy to talk to investors, but that was cancelled due to a $4.7 billion takeover bid that BlackBerry received just a few days ago. Fairfax Financial has signed a letter of intent with the company that could see it sold to Fairfax; if all goes well, it means BlackBerry will be heading down the road to becoming a private company once more. News of that deal should land in about 6 weeks.
BlackBerry has agreed in a “letter of intent” to be acquired by Fairfax Financial–a potential deal worth $4.7 billion, or $9 per share. Fairfax currently owns 10% of BlackBerry shares. More as this develops…
BlackBerry teased the release in May, but now the official BBM app for iOS is available in the iTunes App Store; the once exclusive instant messaging service also launched on the Google Play Store this weekend, so Android users jonesing for some Blackberry action should be on the lookout. This marks the first time that company’s instant messaging service is being opened up to other platforms, and BlackBerry says that more than 2.5 million people have already pre-registered to download the app on their respective platforms. Already download BBM for iOS or Android? Let us know what you think!
BlackBerry has just made official the Z30: a 5-inch Super AMOLED display-equipped smartphone. Featuring a 1.7GHz processor and high capacity 2,880mAh battery, the Z30 is the official successor to the all-touch Z10, and will feature an updated version of the BB10 OS–version 10.2. (the specifications of the new device are in line with the Moto X and Nexus 4). It is mostly taller and larger than the Z10, but only 1mm thicker; internal storage remains at 16GB, but as with most BB device,s you get an optional microSD slot. The Z30 will launch through select carriers and retailers in the U.K. and the Middle East starting next week, with other regions coming before the holiday season. The Canadian carriers will release their availability dates “shortly,” and details for a U.S. release should come soon.
In an interesting turn of events for Canadian company BlackBerry, the company who just announced a special committee to discuss future options for the company is now said to be looking at the best way to sell the company outright. BlackBerry’s most valuable assets is its 5,236 active U.S. patents and 3,730 active patent applications estimated to be worth nearly $4-5 billion if bidding took place on them. There are no reports of any interest in the patents or the acquisition of the company, but it is widely expected that the company will be split apart and sold to potential buyers.
AT&T has announced pre-orders for the BlackBerry Q10 QWERTY-equipped smartphone. The BlackBerry Q10 is available for pre-order (on AT&T’s landing page for the device) for $199.99 with a two-year agreement. No official launch date has been announced, but a pre-order is a good sign that the Q10 will hopefully be coming sooner than later. If you didn’t catch it, do check out our Video review of the BlackBerry Q10.
The Q10 is here and is the company’s attempt to re-introduce the world to a touch-enabled Blackberry with a QWERTY keyboard. The first thing my wireless dealer pointed out is that the device is not being “sold” properly to consumers – BlackBerry users are used to OS 7 on the Curve or Bold and expect to just pickup a Blackberry 10 device and continue where they left off; but if you’ve spent any time with BB10, things are now a bit different, making it a big adjustment for existing BlackBerry users. The keyboard itself has a great feel, much like the high-end Bold series of yesteryear – but coming from an on-screen keyboard back to a physical QWERTY is not as seamless as one would thing. I used to be a rocket on my Bold 9900, but until today didn’t realize how used to an on-screen keyboard I have become, as typing on this QWERTY really makes me feel like I have fat fingers! Lets go a bit more hands on, video-like, after the jump.