Emerging Technology

BlackBerry might survive as niche player, but non-core assets must go: Director

Andrew Sadauskas /

BlackBerry director Bert Nordberg has suggested the embattled smartphone maker might be able to survive as a niche player, but has confirmed there are “subsets within the company that it can get rid of”.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Nordberg admitted the company was undervalued following a Scotiabank analysis showing the company’s encryption technology patents and cash might be worth more than the current listed value of the company.

“If you look at BlackBerry’s book value versus its market value, it’s clear that there’s lots of work to do,” Nordberg says.

“Blackberry’s security framework is built into the mobile software, so you can’t just decide to change operating system. But BlackBerry has cash and it has no debt, so I’m sure that we’ll piece something together at the end of the day.”

“I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company. But being a niche company means deciding to be a niche company. Historically, BlackBerry has had larger ambitions. But battling giants like Apple, Google and Samsung is tough.”

The news comes amidst speculation that key assets, such as its BlackBerry Messenger platform, or even the company itself, might be up for sale.

Recently, SmartCompany reported the company announced the creation of a special five-member board to examine sale options, on the same day its largest shareholder, Prem Watsa, dramatically resigned from the board of directors.

During recent weeks, the company has also suffered an exodus of senior executives, announced 100 layoffs, suffered weak demand of its Q10 smartphone and witnessed a major order of up to 55,600 devices being placed on hold over concerns about the company’s long-term stability.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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