There has been a lot of speculation about BlackBerry’s future ever since the company announced that it was forming a Special Committee to probe “strategic alternatives” for it’s survival. The alternatives may include alliances, partnerships and a possible sale of the company as well. According to various reports, there hasn’t been much interest in the market in acquiring BlackBerry as a whole, analysts believe that it might be broken up and sold off in parts. Independent director and member of the Special Committee, Bert Nordberg, who has served as Sony Ericsson’s CEO in the past, believes that BlackBerry might be able to survive if it trims some proverbial fat and becomes a niche player.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Nordberg said that there are “subsets” within the company that BlackBerry can get rid of, but only if it decides to become a niche company. It has always had larger ambitions, Nordberg says, adding that battling giants such as Apple, Samsung and Google is “tough.” To become a niche player, the company will have to revise its entire business plan. Nordberg didn’t point out exactly which subsets BlackBerry could get rid off, but there has been chatter lately that BlackBerry Messenger might be spun off as a separate company. BBM is a popular product and might be able to sustain itself against competition from behemoths such as WhatsApp. The company can’t simply switch it’s devices to Android, after its new BB10 platform failed to make a dent, because that would weaken its position with enterprise customers, which are quite essential for BlackBerry. Nordberg seems hopeful that the committee will be able to “piece something together” at the end of the day.
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