BlackBerry on the Block

Aug 12, 2013

Makers of the iconic smartphone look for a new start.

Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the BlackBerry smartphone line, is reportedly exploring the possibility off selling the company. The RIM board of directors has announced a new special committee to look at "strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale...". The alternatives reportedly include a possible sale, but the committee might also be considering less severe measures, such as licensing agreements or other alliances.

BlackBerry was a pioneering smartphone that has enjoyed a high-end reputation; however, the company has gradually lost significant market share with the rise of competing iOS and Android devices. A succession of new models were supposed to usher in a new era, but the once-prestigious BlackBerry is still adrift without a clear direction.

Many analysts believe the biggest attraction for a potential buyer is RIM's extensive patent portfolio. As an early player in the smartphone field, the company is thought to hold several valuable patents. BlackBerry is also known for its attention to security, which has kept it viable in high-security business and government settings. Just last week, for instance, BlackBerry's Enterprise Service 10 became the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) system to receive the Department of Defense's Authority to Operate (ATO) certification. A potential partnership might entail extending RIM's security and management technologies to encompass other hardware.

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