BlackBerry – formerly the world’s leading smartphone provider – has put itself up for sale after years of flagging revenue and poor product launches, a move which is likely to threaten the company’s multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the Mercedes F1 team.
Once seen as so popular that its users and detractors dubbed it the ‘CrackBerry’, the company has suffered a massive decline as its rivals caught up and overtook it in the very industry it trailblazed. On Monday, its parent company opted to put it up for sale.
Today, BlackBerry has neither the coolness of iPhone nor the product range of Samsung or HTC, despite its efforts to market its products through high-profile stars like Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Revenues have tanked, over 5,000 jobs have been laid off and the company posted a $84 million loss in the last quarter. In its last financial statements, the company gave little hint of any confidence that it could improve its market share for its handheld devices.
It’s unknown whether or not it will field any interest from potential buyers, given the company’s poor historical performance in the release of new products.
The other story of interest will be how this potential sale affects its sponsorship of Mercedes, who announced the major partnership at the start of the season when its F1W04 was launched. As yet, the team is still to comment on BlackBerry’s sale plans…