Is this the epitaph? BlackBerry, which had its moment of glory in the 2000s with its famous Azerty keyboard, could live the last episode of its long history. According to Reuters, the American investment fund Veritas Capital has sent him an offer to purchase all of its assets.
An announcement welcomed by the market. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the Canadian group saw, on Friday, August 25, its share price soar by almost 17.5%, valuing it at $3.1 billion. He would, moreover, be in talks with other potential buyers. On May 1st, the BlackBerry Board of directors had indicated that it was conducting a strategic review of its portfolio to ” increasing shareholder value “, not ruling out separating from one or more of its activities.
A few days earlier, the Canadian company had already announced the sale of almost all of its patents and patent applications” non-essential “to Malikie, a subsidiary of Key Patent Innovations Limited. That is to say a portfolio of some 32,000 patents and applications mainly relating to mobile devices, messaging and wireless networks, the amount of which – including royalties – could reach $900 million
The iPhone killed me
Founded in 1984, the company Research In Motion (RIM) which then took the name of its star brand, BlackBerry, had its heyday at the beginning of the years by launching iconic smartphones immediately courted by executives, VIPs or politicians including Barack Obama. Their originality: an Azerty physical keyboard that allows you to compose messages very quickly. BlackBerry will quickly be decked out with the nickname of CrackBerry as its use becomes addictive.
Released in 1999, the BlackBerry 850 is still akin to a kind of improved “pager”. With its large LCD screen, the BlackBerry 5810 which was released in 2002 looks like a smartphone and imposes the integrated keyboard as standard. Its successor, a year later, the BlackBerry 7230, is equipped with a 2.6-inch color screen and a web browser.
In 2007, the brand will take a serious step back with the arrival of the iPhone. The touch screen, the clean and intuitive interface, the application store immediately make the Canadian brand nerdy. As of June 2010, the BlackBerry operating system is still present in 40% of smartphones worldwide, far ahead of Apple (iOS) and Google (Android) according to Comscore. At the beginning of 2011, Android is already surpassing it.
Official date of death: January 4, 2022
From there, BlackBerry loses its mojo, multiplying failed bets, out of phase with the new expectations of consumers. The manufacturer refocuses on the professional market, launches a device running Android and then ends up throwing in the towel.
In September 2016, BlackBerry ceases all phone production. The Chinese TCL takes over the brand and finishes in turn, four years later, to stop marketing smartphones associated with the famous name. The last nail on the coffin, BlackBerry ended the maintenance of its OS on January 4, 2022.
In recent years, the Canadian company has been living by focusing on the development of software and business services such as mobile fleet management. More recently, it has focused its offer in the field of cybersecurity by positioning itself in ransomware protection or Critical Event Management (CEM) during cyber attacks.
In the world of the Internet of Things (IoT), BlackBerry has designed a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) embedded in automobiles, trains, construction vehicles or medical devices.