) co-founder Jim Balsillie has dumped his remaining stock in the
firm. Shares plunged in the early hours of trading on Thursday,
before correcting later in the session.
The Waterloo, Ontario firm (that recently changed its name
from Research in Motion to BlackBerry) was
co-founded in 1992 by Balsillie and Mike
. The firm made history in 2002 with the release of the first
However, as smartphone technology advanced, Blackberry
gradually faced increasing competition from the likes of Apple's
) iPhone and, later, Google's (NASDAQ:
) Android operating system. While Android has grown exponentially
over the past few years, Blackberry has faded into an abyss --
particularly in the US.
Add to that a series of blunders and lackluster results and
the recipe for a virtual force-out was set. Both Balsillie and
co-CEO Lazaridis stepped down from their roles as co-CEOs in
January of 2012.
Two months later,
from his position on the company's board of directors after a
weak earnings report. With that, the man who co-founded one of
the most popular tech companies in the modern era severed his
final direct tie to Blackberry.
Balsillie's exit didn't bring an immediate turnaround.
Blackberry's U.S. market shared dropped to 1.6
from August through October of 2012 as compared to the same
period in 2011, down from 8.5 percent. Similarly, the company's
market share dropped from 19 to eight percent during the
BlackBerry has been on thin ice on its home turf in Canada.
Android exploded to take a significant lead at 36 percent while
iPhone holds the second place ranking at 29 percent. BlackBerry
dropped to third at 27 percent
Further fueling the downslide, BlackBerry's market share in
Spain dropped from 24 percent to three percent during the same
period as compared to 2011, while dropping from nine to three
percent in Brazil and 16 to seven percent in France,
as notes BGR
. Importantly, the firm has depended on the Latin American and
Mediterranean markets to remain afloat, given its declining
popularity in North America and the U.K. as well as its weak
performance in China and India.
Now, after a somewhat successful stock performance over the
past month, BlackBerry has dropped in trading on Thursday,
apparently on word of Balsillie's dumping of shares. The company
had been riding a wave of market success, largely on buzz about
its latest Z10 device. However, it has traded down as much as
around six percent on Thursday.
As of this writing, Blackberry has recovered a bit and is down
around 0.5 percent.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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