Canada to BlackBerry: Drop dead (but please, don't)

Canada to BlackBerry: Drop dead (but please, don't)

Summary: Despite the mobile technology company's ongoing struggles, the Canadian government won't step in to lend a hand.

TOPICS: BlackBerry, Mobility
BlackBerry's Z10. (Photo courtesy BlackBerry)

If a turnaround is in the cards for the beleaguered mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry, it must pull it off on its own. The Canadian government won't lend a hand.

That's according to Industry Minister James Moore, who told a Bloomberg reporter this week that the government is rooting for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company but has no plans to intervene.

"It's for them to engage the market and provide devices and services, platforms, content that the market will receive well," Moore reportedly said.

Blackberry, famous for its thumb-friendly mobile devices that become nearly synonymous with politicians and high-powered business executives a decade ago, has struggled in an age where smartphones more closely resemble computers. The company's fortunes and finances have long suffered, but even its latest line of touchscreen-based devices has been met with lukewarm reception. Its future remains grim.

"It hasn't gone off with the success that they hoped that it would," Moore told Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, BlackBerry announced plans to evaluate joint ventures, partnerships and outright sale of the company; the market price of its shares jumped in response. But the company's flagship operating system, BlackBerry 10, remains without traction.

Canada's private sector may come to the company's aid. BlackBerry's largest shareholder, the Toronto businessman Prem Watsa, resigned from the company's board with possible intent to save the company. Several major pension funds in Canada have also indicated interest in helping the company go private.

The question is whether that possible support network is enough to keep BlackBerry within Canadian borders. The biggest risk? Chinese intervention. "When you have a national champion like BlackBerry, you hope they remain a national champion," Moore's predecessor Christian Paradis told Bloomberg in March.

Topics: BlackBerry, Mobility

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • That's good

    I prefer government stay out of the private sector. Bailouts of failing companies don't really make a lot of sense. It's a free market... let the strong survive and the weak change or die off.
    • That's right and China buys it

      pwn the smartphone market even more.
    • Good, nothing for private, tons left for public .. YEAH

      I agree. They should save the money they get from taxes from the private sector so they can pay better wages and pensions to public employees. Anyone working in the private sector is only worth $10 an hour. If you are public, you damn right deserve that $100 hr consulting gig and double pension. Noone in the private sector even deserves a pension, or maternity, or anything really. But public servant - get the name - they serve. So what if studies show they produce about half a private worker and yet get paid all-in, about double. It's 25% the value, but when you look at it that they are serving the public in some way, than you realize they are worth 4x as much so it is awash. So serve at and get the rewards baby!
    • re: let the strong survive

      2013 - recap
      Increasing sales
      new OS
      5 new phones released
      BES10 rolled out
      no debt

      Why would they need a government bailout under the circumstances?
      Shouldn't they have decreasing sales, big debts and no new products before requiring a handout?
    • BlackBerry forever!

      Well, you think it's good if only the strong survive? Ok, than only the crap survives which want to make us know, that they are so good and they want our best like Google with Android. But they want only our data! BlackBerry is one of the firms, that have a secure OS and they behave with integrity! I want to by in 50 years a BlackBerry! BlackBerry forever!
      Frank Siedler
  • WOW, canada make the US look like commies

    all we do is prop up the poor worthless people and corporate welfare
    • That was my first thought

      Considering how quick we are to bail out our national treasures, how ironic that a socialist country like Canada is letting their private businesses succeed or fail in the free market.
      • Socialist?

        Canada doesn't have home mortgage deductions and missed the entire housing debacle. They have little debt and healthy finances. Only socialized medicine makes them close to socialism compared to the US, and Obamacare took care of that. If your are looking for socialism look south of the Canadian border.
  • If the Can Feds wouldn't save Nortel.....

    ...there's no chance they will help BB.
  • "Canada to BlackBerry: Drop dead (but please, don't)"

    What a clown title, should of been something like Bloomberg's: "Canada’s Moore Says BlackBerry Must Revive by Itself." BlackBerry is not bankrupt and Canada is obviously NOT rooting for their demise.
  • re: Drop dead

    That's one sleezy article headline.....I guess everyone in the media is doing the same so its ok?
  • Cannot have your cake and eat it too

    The Canadian government follows a policy that discourage entrepreneurship in this country.

    If it self-righteously lets the market determine the course of events then it must not stop a foreign company such as a Chinese firm from acquiring BlackBerry. Let the markets rule.

    That is not what is happening. The Govt. will not try to rescue the ailing company - the only high-tech company of any significance today, neither will it let a foreign firm to do so. Why would anyone start a technology business in such an environment?