BlackBerry reaches deal to sell big chunk of its Canadian real estate

BlackBerry

Canada-based BlackBerry is moving ahead with plans to sell off a large chunk of its home-turf real estate as CEO John Chen endeavors to streamline costs as part of his ongoing battle to turn the company around and return it to relevancy.

The plan to sell off the majority of its Canadian real estate holdings – comprising more than three million square feet of floor space in around 20 buildings – first came to light a couple of months back when Chen claimed the sale would “further enhance BlackBerry’s financial flexibility.”

And to reassure those working at its long-time base in Waterloo, Ontario, the newly installed CEO added that the company “remains committed to being headquartered” there.

BlackBerry announced over the weekend that it had recently struck a deal to sell off much of its real estate, adding that terms of the transaction would be announced only when the principal conditions were satisfied.

The company said the sale is “part of BlackBerry’s ongoing program to improve operational efficiencies, optimize resource usage and shift resources to support operations as the business continues to evolve.”

The news comes just days after BlackBerry laid off 120 workers in Waterloo, a move reported to be part of the company’s long-standing plan to cut its workforce by 40 percent by May this year. The workers were based at the company’s BlackBerry 2 site in Waterloo, one of five buildings sold to the University of Waterloo for $41 million in December last year. Several of the buildings are being leased back to the company, the university said at the time.

Earlier this month, Chen said in a rather frank interview with the Financial Times that he believes there’s a “50/50 chance” of BlackBerry being able to make a go of it second time around.

Responding to a question about whether he thought the company could ever return to the powerful position it once held in the mobile sector, Chen responded by saying that “if we do it correctly, it could be a dominant player again,” pointing to Apple as an example of a tech firm that succeeded in digging itself out of a very deep hole.

Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Cars

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.
Movies & TV

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Mobile

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Deals

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Mobile

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Mobile

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Mobile

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.
Mobile

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…