Struggling phone maker BlackBerry offered some positive news this week with the announcement that 12 small Android phone makers have agreed to pre-install its BBM messaging application on their Android phones. Further, the company launched its BBM Channels service, a Twitter-style social engagement platform within BlackBerry's Messenger service that allows customers to connect with businesses, brands, celebrities and groups.
BlackBerry continued to reconfigure its operations as it tries to revive its business under interim CEO John Chen, and announced the departure of several top executives, including those responsible for the rollout of its BlackBerry 10 platform, which has failed to reignite sales.
BlackBerry's board does not think breaking up the company into separate pieces is a sound idea, even though Apple, Microsoft, Lenovo and others have expressed interest in parts of the company, according to a Reuters report.
Fairfax Financial Holdings, the largest shareholder of BlackBerry, disclosed that its bid to shore up the finances of the struggling smartphone maker attracted the support of a Qatar-based sovereign-wealth fund and several Canadian investment funds.
Chinese PC and smartphone maker Lenovo did pursue a bid for BlackBerry, but the Canadian government effectively quashed any chance of a takeover by indicating to BlackBerry it would block the deal because of national security concerns, according to a Globe and Mail report.
Huawei said it will invest at least $600 million (€444 million) in research for so-called "5G" technology over the next four years, as the Chinese vendor outlined a growth strategy based on R&D strength and a strong consumer business rather than on acquisitions.
BlackBerry has abandoned plans to sell off the company, and has announced the departure of CEO Thorsten Heins. Neither Fairfax Financial or any of the other intereste
BlackBerry is turning to former Sybase CEO John Chen to turn around its struggling business as its interim CEO, and will be banking on his history as a turnaround specialist. However, despite his background, Chen faces formidable challenges in reviving BlackBerry, analysts say.
BlackBerry announced it halted its plans to go private in a $4.7 billion deal led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, its largest shareholder, and will instead receive a $1 billion capital injection form Fairfax and other institutional investors. BlackBerry also effectively ousted CEO Thorsten Heins.
After years of reverse-engineering electronics gadgets and looking for infringing products, a patent consortium owned by Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson, Sony, EMC and BlackBerry has filed a battery of lawsuits against Google and Android manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Huawei and others. The action opens another, major front in the patent-infringement war that has engulfed virtually all of the world's major mobile players.