Feeds

BlackBerry binned JV plan to become China's official mobile OS: report

Managers pondered deal for two years without reaching a decision

The Power of One Infographic

Struggling BlackBerry launched a bold bid back in 2010 to corner the Chinese smartphone market through a joint venture, but despite significant interest from Beijing internal feuding in the company ended up scuppering a deal, it is claimed.

In summer 2010, Research In Motion chairwoman Barbara Stymiest and then co-CEO Jim Balsillie took their plan to the state-run China Investment Corp (CIC), according to a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail referencing “people familiar with the discussions”.

A new firm – formed by RIM, CIC and other unnamed domestic handset players – would have sold new handsets licensed to run on RIM’s “core software”, the report claimed.

The deal would apparently have rubber stamped RIM as the official supplier of smartphone operating systems in the world’s biggest market for devices, but despite Balsillie’s enthusiasm and strong interest from Beijing, nothing came of it.

Co-CEO Mike Laziridis and other directors were apparently concerned that a possible China deal would distract the firm from the launch of its BlackBerry 10 device.

The plan is said to have been discussed internally at RIM for two years before it was finally binned after new CEO Thorsten Heins took the reins.

Ironically the launch of the firm’s iPhone-killer, the BlackBerry 10, is now widely regarded as one of the most disastrous in smartphone history.

BlackBerry's second quarter earnings a fortnight ago put expected quarterly revenues at $1.6bn, less than half the $3.06bn analysts were expecting thanks in part to the poorly performing handset.

The firm has now agreed to be taken private by a consortium led by Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings in a deal worth around $4.7bn – a huge drop from the $70bn+ it was once valued at.

Meanwhile, in China domestic handset makers vie with Apple and Samsung for a larger slice of a smartphone market dominated by Google Android. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.