Last year was a quiet one for BlackBerry – or RIM, as it was still known then. BlackBerry 10 was in development, and BlackBerry 7 was going stagnant. As most of us waited to see what BB10 would bring, a group of investors had their own strategy for the company’s future. With talk of a BlackBerry sale back in the news, investor Robin Chan reveals the attempt he was involved with last year to chart a very different path for the company than what we’ve ended up seeing.
Chan and his fellow investors wanted to see BlackBerry reinvent itself as a company focused on services, and were thinking about a takeover that would effect such change. That is, instead of continuing to intimately link BlackBerry hardware and software, the company would instead develop software to make some of its more valuable resources – its enterprise integration, end-to-end encryption, and data compression – available to iOS and Android devices. There were even suggestions for new BlackBerry-branded handsets running Android.
As should be clear, nothing came of this attempt, due in large part to an inability to put together more than $1B of the $6B that would have been needed to further pursue the matter. Of course, since then we’ve seen BB10 fail to really take off, so maybe these sorts of ideas could find a little more traction in this day and age.