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BlackBerry board member says becoming a "niche" player is key to survival
As part of BlackBerry’s ongoing restructuring effort, the company has assembled a five-person team to decide the future of the firm. One such member is Bert Nordberg, the former CEO of Sony Ericsson, who successfully pulled his corporation out of bankruptcy and now looks to do the same for the Canadian-based firm. His strategy is to forgo the larger ambitions of catching up to Apple and Google, and to simply survive as a “niche” player.
According to an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Nordberg believes that BlackBerry still has several assets at its disposal, most notably its reputation in the enterprise, NSA-proof security, a leading worldwide data network, and a premium QWERTY keyboard. The company is in no way the mobile market leader that it was half a decade ago, but if it can stick to its strengths and avoid lofty goals, it still has a fighting chance.
With Sony Ericsson, Nordberg was thrust into a very difficult situation. The company was focusing on low-end mobile phones, and was admittedly doing very poorly in this realm. One of Nordberg’s very first moves was to scrap this strategy altogether and build a smartphone line around Google’s emerging Android operating system. Although Sony Ericsson didn’t exactly become an industry leader as a result of this decision, it allowed them to remain competitive.
Unfortunately, Nordberg points out that BlackBerry can’t just look to Android to turn its fortunes around. “With BlackBerry things are definitely much harder. Blackberry's security framework is built into the mobile software, so you can't just decide to change operating systems,” explained Nordberg. “But BlackBerry has cash and it has no debt, so I'm sure that we'll piece something together at the end of the day."
Of course, BlackBerry has yet to decide which plan of action it will actually take. Available options include anything from strategic partnership to a complete sale of the company. Just a week ago, BlackBerry was considering spinning off its popular BBM messaging service into a stand-alone company; a move that still isn’t out of the question.
Image via AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis
The BlackBerry Q10 is part of the new "10" family of BlackBerry running it's BB10. The Q10 carries a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of system memory, 8-megapixel camera and 16GB of flash memory. The QWERTY board takes up plenty of real estate which only leaves room for a 3.1-inch AMOLED screen operating at 720 x 720 pixels.
The BlackBerry Z10 is the latest flagship from BlackBerry, it runs the new BlackBerry 10 OS and packs a 4.2"- 1280 x 768 screen (356 PPI). Inside is a dual core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage expandable through microSD, rear (8MP) and front (2MP) cameras, connectivity options like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
The BlackBerry PlayBook is a tablet that runs BBOS featuring a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution. The sides of the PlayBook are coated with a soft-touch rubber that has a quality feel and provides some grip. A 3.5mm headphone jack is present as well, on the bottom of the tablet are three ports: micro-HDMI, micro-USB, and a three pin accessory dock connector.
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