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BlackBerry board keen to sell company by November, report says

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Just days after Nokia fell into the hands of Microsoft in a multi-billion-dollar deal, another former giant in the mobile phone game, BlackBerry, wants to sell itself off within the next couple of months, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The struggling Ontario-based company said just last month it had formed a special committee to look at “strategic alternatives”, citing a possible sale, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships or alliances as possibilities.

The Journal said BlackBerry was hoping to “run a fast auction process that could be wrapped up by November.”

Tipped off by “people familiar with the matter”, the Journal said Thorsten Heins and his team had already held preliminary discussions with a select number of potential bidders – which reportedly may include a number of Asia-based tech companies – about selling off BlackBerry in parts or as a whole.

It’s not certain if any deal or deals will be struck soon, the report said, but BlackBerry’s committee is apparently keen to get the whole thing sorted as soon as possible to end any uncertainty. After all, business users and consumers alike will be reluctant to make any kind of investment in a platform whose future is far from clear.

Well-documented woes

The woes of the company formerly known as Research In Motion have been well documented. Just seven years ago, the company dominated the business market with handsets that were considered cutting-edge at the time. And then along came Apple with the iPhone.

In the intervening years, increased competition from others such as Samsung with its high-end Android-powered Galaxy handsets served to chip away at BlackBerry’s share of the market, which in the US dropped from more than 50 percent to around 3 percent today.

The launch earlier this year of two new handsets, the Z10 and Q10, supported by the all-new BB10 mobile operating system appears to have been too little too late for BlackBerry, with the company now set to be sold off – provided it can find a buyer, of course.

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