Canada keeping 'close eye' on ailing BlackBerry

Canada keeping 'close eye' on ailing BlackBerry

Summary: The country's industry minister "wishes them well," but remains concerned about the company's future amid a decline in its financial health.

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TOPICS: BlackBerry
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(Image: BlackBerry)

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called BlackBerry as a "crown jewel" to the country.

But despite keeping thousands of Canadians employed and billions pumping into the country's economy each year, the Canadian government may well just sit by and let the Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker wind down, split up, or sell-off.

Read this

How much is BlackBerry worth? By the numbers

How much is BlackBerry worth? By the numbers

Break out the estimates, the analyst notes, and the calculators. BlackBerry could be worth far more if broken up and sold off in parts.

According to a Reuters interview, industry minister James Moore said it was "unfortunate" the company's two new phones, the touch-screen BlackBerry Z10 and the keyboard-enabled Q10, were not a hit with consumers. He noted he was aware of the company's current bid to explore routes that may end up seeing it split up and sold off to a rival firm. 

He said: "We wish them well, and we're keeping a close eye on the situation."

There have been rumors on deck for more than a year of a foreign takeover by Asian technology giants, such as Samsung, or even by China-based Lenovo, among others, which could run afoul of national security regulators. 

"We want them to do well, keep employing Canadians, keeping putting out innovative technologies and platforms," he added, "and we're paying close attention."

The country's government is worried, but it's not giving anything away yet. The country didn't step in to save network communications firm Nortel, which hit its economy (and morale) hard. Should the company fold — whether it's under its own weight or if it's taken over by another firm — the long-lasting implications for the country's technology industry could last years. 

Bloomberg estimates peg the company to be worth as much as $8.5 billion if broken up and sold in parts.

Topic: BlackBerry

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21 comments
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  • Still too soon

    It's getting very scary for BlackBerry but I wouldn't write them off yet
    gordongr
  • Their strategy was flawed.

    Half of the BB10 app store is full of junk. 47000 apps from one publisher alone, and 17000 from another. They paid $100 for each of those so called RSS feeds

    BB10 was a money pit for Blackberry. Just sell the company and get out while the going is still good.
    Dreyer Smit
    • well said

      As I've been saying this for months now by years end they will sell blackberry as people want its enterprise encryption software and patents... The company or firm that purchases it will trash the hardware and appstore after they buy it. We need to move on blackberry and get on with something new like I did with switching to android and ios and windows phone...
      ITGuy000
      • What if I need a secure phone?

        If I am in the government, only Blackberry has earned top security rating.
        So if I was in military or government or, say, product development somewhere, and I need a secure phone, what do I do - accept lesser securityso I can use some App, e or Android game?
        You folks writing off Blackberry still haven't proposed an equally secure alternative.
        Blackberry should forget the consumer space (for now) and play to its business and government strengths, and expand a nice profitable niche.
        radleym
  • worried more about back doors for NSA

    worried more about back doors for NSA
    There is a much better cooperation Microsoft, Windows 8 and NSA on the HW and SW level
    So that's the paradox= you are safer with the old system
    anywherehome
    • Just do something for us all:

      Declare to us which email service you use, Which OS you use on your mobile and PC and tablet, and whether or not you've been implicated for terrorism in the last 3 months or attempted to download kiddie porn.

      Because you seem pretty paranoid.
      Dreyer Smit
      • You know what? I don't have to be guilty of anything

        to be completely offended and outraged at a government that thinks it has the right to spy on me. I am not a serf, and the state is not my master, and that's the ONLY reason I need to tell the government it has overstepped its authority and demand it get back into its proper place. As my SERVANT.
        baggins_z
      • evil

        According to you they can do anything......how is it to serve the evil? Tell us....
        anywherehome
  • Memo to Author

    News flash - Canada is NOT a socialist country and Blackberry is not owned or supported by the Canadian govt. You can stop acting so surprised that the govt isn't stepping in to save a company that couldn't make it in the free market with a good product. Canada isn't the USA, BB isn't Solyndra, and if you screw something up there are consequences, so get over it.
    HackerJ
    • Technically correct, practically, well...

      While Canada is not as Euro-Socialist as, say, France, the Netherlands or Greece, laissez-faire isn't the strict approach to business as the USA usually is, USA's recent forays into the business-rescue/fake-business-bankroll realm by current administration notwithstanding, of course. Unclear whether Canada would step in like Ireland or France when companies begin to down-size or disappear, so we'll see how it rolls out...
      vandalii
      • Nonsense

        The US spends thousands of times more on subsidizing business than Canada.
        radleym
  • Too late

    Blackberry failed to innovate. Their OS and hardware have deep design issues that they did not address, even with iPhone and android showing the way to do it, they made little effort to correct their OS issues and then they had to hastily revamp everything and then throw put some crap that looks nice and has nice features, but too little too late, and they still have deep inherent defects in the OS that have still not been addressed. They need to sell soon, or they won't be worth a dime.
    Shawn Hensley
    • What are you talking about?

      Almost nothing you said is true.
      Qnx has been around for years and is much better at real-time processing than any of the competitors. It still took more than a year to come up with BB10 on top of it.

      Performance-wise, BB10 runs circles around the competition.

      Unfortunately, consumers don't much care about business-oriented products.
      radleym
  • If we turned out his pockets, what phone would fall out?

    For a party who likes to wrap itself in the flag, it would be strange to find anything but a Blackberry on a Conservative Party MP, let alone a minister... right?

    But instead they believe in free trade, which *for them* means US companies beating us up on NAFTA while Canadian companies are shut out by Buy America and our Netflix and iTunes doesn't have stuff the American ones do.
    dowlingm
  • BlackBerry sold to the Russians?

    Why not...They'll make a go of it and turn the company around.
    ScotCan
  • Mr. Harper's "crown jewel" comment...

    Wonder what other "Crown Jewel" Canadian companies we can remember...

    - Corel
    - Northern Telecom
    - A.V. Roe

    What a legacy.. at least we still have Bombardier... for now..
    daftkey
    • Yeah, but we don't bail them out

      … like our (anti)socialist cousins to the south.
      Funny, eh? Who's a ring like the real socialists?
      radleym
      • correction

        "acting" not "a ring"
        radleym
  • So, you solution would be to take money out of the economy

    run it through a government bureaucracy, then give it back to a company with the resulting depreciated value? Yeah, because that is working out so well in the United States.
    baggins_z
  • The damage to Blackberry has already been done.

    He's a former parrot. He's singing with the choir invisible.
    symbolset