Friday afternoon, Sept. 20, 2013 BlackBerry had stock trading halted and announced 4,500 layoffs. The events were reported by Bloomberg TV and Canada.com Technology. Dire predictions were made about the smartphone manufacturer on the Bloomberg “Street Smart” segment. Another jaw-dropping figure is the pre-announcement regarding the major loss for the quarter. Only several million of the new Z10/Q10 phones have been sold – and something like a “billion dollars’ worth of phones” will be returned to BlackBerry? Recall when BlackBerry was even more popular than the iPhone – now it appears to be a dying technology outcast.
Powerful business enterprises and powerful leaders – like President Obama – have been linked to the once hot BlackBerry. The stock market price was losing (about 47 cents to 51 cents) before the halt in trading Sept. 20, 2013. According to NASDAQ (on Google) the closing stock price was around $8.73. According to the charts/data offered by Bloomberg TV the BlackBerry stock traded as high as $97.84 (about 5 years ago). Its biggest slide started in 2011 and has continued until yesterday. However, if you check the BlackBerry Blog and Developers pages you see no desperation there.
It seems to be a fairly clear message that BlackBerry intends to continue trade presentations. Also, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 BlackBerry was going to make BlackBerry Messaging service (BBM) available for Android and iPhone. That was ironic – the other irony was the swollen lines of consumers looking to buy the latest version/s of the iPhone 5. BBM and the Z10 may not have been the big technology moves they needed to make. Is BlackBerry breathing its last breaths? One can never be sure. But the best bet is that China’s smartphone makers might want to pick up their 70 million or so subscribers. Perhaps even Google or some other players would be interested. Surely Canada is weighing its options for saving BlackBerry? How the mighty and popular have morphed into a technology pariah.