BlackBerry Limited, formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (RIM), is a Canadian telecommunication andwireless equipment company best known to the general public as the developer of the BlackBerry brand of smartphones andtablets, but also well known worldwide as a provider of secure & high reliability software for industrial applications and Mobile Device Management (MDM). BlackBerry's software and hardware products are used worldwide by various government's agencies and by car makers and industrial plants throughout the world, much of this activity being unseen by the public. The company is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It was founded by Mike Lazaridis, who served as its co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie until January 22, 2012; as of November 2013, Saad assumes the new title of "Lead Director and Chair of Compensation". In November 2013, John S. Chen took over as CEO. His strategy is to subcontract manufacturing toFoxconn, and to focus on software technology. Originally a dominant innovative company in the smartphone market for business and government usage, with 43% US market share in 2010, the company's dominance in the US smartphone market has in recent years declined precipitously, in part because of intense competition mainly from the current high US market share of Google's Android brands and also from the lower share that Apple's iPhone has of the market. Due to such competition, the company's share in the US personal consumer market was reduced to 3.8% in 2013. In markets other than the US personal comsumer market BlackBerry's products have fared better. On September 23, 2013 the company signed a letter of intent to be acquired for US$4.7 billion, or US$9 per share, by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial which has announced its intentions to take the company private. On November 4, 2013 the deal was scrapped in favor of a US$1 billion cash injection which, according to one analyst, represented the level of confidence BlackBerry's largest shareholder has in the company. The majority of BlackBerry's remaining value lies in innovation, one aspect being its patent portfolio, which has been valued at between US$2 billion and $3 billion.
Competition and market share
The primary competitors of the BlackBerry are smartphones running Android and the Apple iPhone. BlackBerry has struggled to compete against both and its market share has plunged since 2011, leading to speculation that it will be unable to survive as an independent going concern. However, it has managed to maintain significant positions in some markets. Despite market share loss, on a global basis, the number of active BlackBerry subscribers has increased substantially through the years. For example, for the fiscal period during which the Apple iPhone was first released, RIM reported that they had a subscriber base of 10.5 million BlackBerry subscribers. At the end of 2008, when Android first hit the market, RIM reported that the number of BlackBerry subscribers had increased to 21 million. Finally, in the quarter ended June 28, 2012, RIM announced that the number of BlackBerry subscribers had reached 78 million globally. After the release of the Apple iPhone 5 in September 2012 RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced that the current global subscribers is up to 80 million, which sparked a 7% jump in shares.
Early years and growth (1984–2000)
Research In Motion Limited was founded in 1984 by Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin. At the time, Lazaridis was an engineering student at the University of Waterloo while Fregin was an engineering student at the University of Windsor. RIM's early development was financed by Canadian institutional and venture capital investors in 1995 through a private placement in the privately held company. Working Ventures Canadian Fund Inc. led the first venture round with a C$5,000,000 investment with the proceeds being used to complete the development of RIM's two-way...
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