The once-dominant BlackBerry company announced today that it has formed a special committee that will look into strategic alternatives to enhance the company’s value and scale as a means to “accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.” In order to do that, the board says BlackBerry is looking into entering strategic partnerships or joint ventures with other companies, or the outright sale of BlackBerry itself. BlackBerry’s stock price rose more than 5 percent, following the announcement to $10.22, according to MarketWatch.com.
The announcement came via a press release issues by BlackBerry’s Board of Directors. “As the Special Committee focuses on exploring alternatives, we will be continuing with our strategy of reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10, as well as driving adoption of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, launching the multi-platform BBM social messaging service, and pursuing mobile computing opportunities by leveraging the secure and reliable BlackBerry Global Data Network,” CEO Thorsten Heins said in a statement.
BlackBerry, which was once the top smartphone maker in the world, has seen its marketshare decline sharply in recent years. Earlier this year, the company announced its long-awaited BlackBerry 10 operating system and two new smartphones, the touch screen-enabled Z10 and QWERTY keyboard-based Q10. A budget-friendly Q5 handset was subsequently released early this summer for emerging markets.
Despite its new offerings, the company has continued to see its marketshare erode in the U.S. The primary reason for BlackBerry’s decline has been its inability to adapt to the changing smartphone market following the release of the first iPhone. Since then, the company has been struggling to regain its relevance in the market.