COMPANIES: BlackBerry withers as investors prefer Apple
(Observer (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BlackBerry, the smartphone company whose gadgets were once seen as so habit-forming that users dubbed them "CrackBerries", went on sale last week after years of falling sales and failed revamps.
On Monday, the firm announced it had decided to "explore strategic alternatives" - financier-speak for trying to flog the company - capping years of decline for the group that started the smartphone market. Few observers predict a comeback.
BlackBerry's woes began when Apple's iPhone usurped it as the must-have device - and then the sheer numbers of phones using Google's Android mobile system made its efforts look clunky when accessing the internet. Its US market share fell from around 50% in 2009 to less than 3%.
Last week veteran investor Carl Icahn revealed he'd taken a large stake in Apple - causing other investors to follow suit and adding $17bn (pounds 11bn) to Apple's value. That puts the smartphone war in perspective: Apple's one-day hike is more than three times the value of the whole of BlackBerry.
BlackBerry has put itself up for sale.
(c) 2013 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
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