What's Next For BlackBerry?

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Melissa Block speaks to NPR's Laura Sydell about the outlook for BlackBerry and its creator, Research in Motion.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. And it's time for All Tech Considered.


BLOCK: We'll start with our look ahead at the week in technology.

LAURA SYDELL, BYLINE: Would you want to be the CEO of BlackBerry? I don't think so.

BLOCK: That's NPR's Laura Sydell who says these are bad times for BlackBerry and its creator, Research In Motion. The Canadian company has its shareholders' meeting in Ottawa tomorrow. You remember the BlackBerry? For years, it was the handheld device that every celebrity, business bigwig and even the president used to check email, news, whatever all the time. Its biggest fans called it the CrackBerry.

Well, they've kicked the habit since then, big time. Research in Motion's stock has plunged 95 percent since 2008, and last quarter, it lost over $500 million. New CEO Thorsten Heins took over in January. And despite the company's gloomy outlook, Laura Sydell says Heins has been anything but gloomy.

SYDELL: And he's been walking around saying how optimistic he is about BlackBerry. And in particular, he's been walking around talking about the next BlackBerry, the BlackBerry 10 and how great it's going to be and saying they're going to have it out by the end of the year. And guess what? They're not going to have it out by the end of the year.

BLOCK: And she says that's not going to help him win over investors tomorrow.

SYDELL: It could be an angry crowd. I wouldn't be surprised if he faces a very, very angry crowd of people.

BLOCK: And shareholders might sue for misleading information if BlackBerry doesn't release the 10 on time. Of course, Laura Sydell says, there is one thing that could prevent a lawsuit.

SYDELL: Would you want to sue BlackBerry, which there is even - this is so sad to say - the possibility that this former leader in the smartphone world could go under?

BLOCK: That's NPR's Laura Sydell.

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