Embrace UniquenessObamacare’s Post-Partum Abortion Mandate Stirs ControversyJanet Yellen Topples Old Barriers To Women At The Fed ReserveObama To Declare Congress As Advisory By Executive OrderA Serious Look At Michael Jackson As A Child ProdigyRetired Pope Upsets Vatican With Visits To Gay ClubsEgg On Their Face? Investigators Focus On Bieber’s BulbsSenate Reports Connects Clinton to Benghazi Cover UpD.C. Bombshell: Michelle May Seek Separation From Barack ObamaGiant Fukushima Squid Found In Central CaliBillionaire Branson Cancels “Spaceline” After Suffering Air SicknessThe 10 Types of Single Women Over Age 30Schultz: Let Rodman Go To Work In North KoreaMore Love And Sex Advice From KatzenbergMilitary Beats Sexual Assault Reporting GoalsExclusive Interview with Santa Claus On Diverse SantasNASA Scrambles To Contain Latest Mars Rover ScandalMost Popular On LBTEgg On Their Face? Investigators Focus On Bieber’s BulbsThe NSA To Begin Screening Emails For Insensitive Racial/Cultural ContentGiant Radioactive Squid Frightens Santa Monica ResidentsProf. Samuelson Offers A Parable For Female Online DatersLocal Single Men Shunning Events For Older Singles — Sexism?Schultz: Single Women Over 30 Are Not Attractive To MeThe 10 Types Of Single Women Over 30 Years Of Age Editor’s Note: The LBT recently has discovered certain of its writers embellishing stories for effect. These embellishments are under investigation. Until the investigation is complete, please corroborate all stories before making investment or other important decisions. New Bid For Embattled Blackberry Led By Its Creative Director May Give It New Lease On Life
By BUTCH WITT
The embattled smartphone maker Blackberry may have received a lifeline from an unlikely source. For weeks, Blackberry shareholders and consumers have been questioning the validity of a noncommittal and relatively lackluster bid to take Blackberry private by former director and current 10-percent owner Prem Watsa.
Late on Tuesday evening Blackberry’s creative director Alicia Keys announced a bid to purchase the troubled former tech giant for $12 per share. The bid is 30-percent above Watsa’s and it may have other advantages for the ailing former tech giant.
“This company will be hipper and ‘badder’ than it ever was before.”
Although details of the bid have yet to be formally released, Keys told sources that – unlike the Watsa bid – her bid has funding and is conditioned only upon a four-week due diligence period. Keys also reportedly said that financing for her bid comes from unnamed sources in the “urban hip hop community.” Some observers believe that rap star and producer Jay-Z, who is known to be an avid Blackberry user, will be providing a portion of the cash for the deal.
Enticing for Blackberry enthusiasts is Keys’ promise to revive the struggling phone maker rather than split it up for sale. “This company will be hipper and ‘badder’ than it ever was before,” she said.
Apparently, Keys saw an opportunity in the course of her duties as creative director to improve on the long-suffering Blackberry’s performance among urban youth. “I saw a lot of poor decisions being made with regard to design and the overall image of the brand,” she said. “There is so much opportunity in so many communities that have been turned off by Blackberry’s vanilla, and, excuse me, pasty white image,” she added.
As the technology evolves, new and improved phones come into the market. Or the existence phones get added with new features and get released later on. Even in trading platforms, each year, new and improved software is coming into the market like crypto code which is loaded with varied unique features.
If the bidding process for the sad, self-immolating former tech titan were not dramatic enough, Keys threw in a bit of racial politics by dismissing rival bidder Watsa as a “crusty, old white dude.” Watsa, who is actually Indian by birth, has not commented on either Keys’ bid or her racially charged comments.
The Keys bid represents a very late victory for former Blackberry’s U.S. marketing manager Richard Piasentin, whose decision to bring on Keys as creative director in January 2013 was ridiculed by many. “I am happy that Ms. Keys may prove to be so valuable to Blackberry even if it was not the way I originally envisioned,” Piasentin said via telephone.
“We have been fearing the worst, but in the back of my mind I think I knew that someone, maybe even Alicia [Keys] would come through.”
A source close to Keys said that she believes that phones with more dramatic color schemes – such as zebra prints and luminescent orange – will appeal to the youth market. Indeed, a broad range of enticing colors could offer the bleeding pariah of the high tech industry the differentiation it has struggled for since releasing its OS 10 operating system, which observers say resembles the iPhone’s iOS but lacks its critical apps. Some credit multiple colors to saving Apple in the late-90s with its early iMac computers.
Kevin Michalick, the foremost blogger on Blackberry phones and company intrigue, seemed very pleased. “We have been fearing the worst, but in the back of my mind I think I knew that someone, maybe even Alicia [Keys] would come through,” he said.