BlackBerry pipe dream to stay enterprise relevant

With already a 10 percent in the smartphone maker, Fairfax Financial has put out an offer to buy BlackBerry for US$4.7 billion dollars. The question is why?
Written by Howard Lo, Contributor

Four years ago, Blackerry--then called Research in Motion--owned a huge chunk of the smartphone market.


Last week it announced it was laying off half its staff and cutting its device portfolio. Aside from the folks still working at BlackBerry, is there anyone pretending that this doesn't spell the end? 

Apparently Fairfax Financial believes it can squeeze a few more pennies out of the fallen behemoth. Yesterday, news broke that it made an offer to purchase BlackBerry for US$4.7 billion, or about an infinite amount more than what anyone sane would offer.

Okay, there are the patents that BlackBerry owns which I'm sure are worth something, but the belief is that by taking BlackBerry private it gives the company some breathing space and limits its enterprise customers' fears the Canadian smartphone maker is going out of business.

The term "throwing good money after bad" comes to mind. Fairfax Financial already has a 10 percent stake in Blackberry. Buying the remainder, at US$9 a share, to save whatever the company already put into that 10 percent seems ridiculous. 

How is BlackBerry going to gain any traction in the enterprise? No one is going to be buying BlackBerry devices, so its only real product is its server that helps manage devices and messaging in the workplace. Which IT manager would have confidence in BlackBerry's ability to maintain and improve its products? What employee would fight hard to get their BlackBerry supported in the workplace, as opposed to switching to another phone platform?

Go gently into that good night, BlackBerry. It's over.

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