After receiving repeated complaints from users, Canadian handset maker, BlackBerry Limited (BBRY) has momentarily removed the advanced 10.2.2 version of Twitter, Inc.’s (TWTR) apps from its BlackBerry World store. However, new Twitter users can choose to shift to the older version of Twitter 10.2.1, till the problem is fixed.
The new Twitter version, mainly designed for BB10-based devices, was available on BlackBerry World store for a week. It offered easy access to BBM features and provided photo preview option to users.
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BlackBerry is considering the spin-off of its popular BBM service from its handset business. The company already has more than 60 million dedicated BBM followers and is planning to expand its reach. Thus, the company is continuously upgrading its BBM features and has also made the service available to iOS and Android-based handsets. BlackBerry has already gained more than 40 million iOS/Android users.
BlackBerry, which led the smartphone market earlier, has failed to upgrade its operating platform. This has led to loss of market traction to Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iOS and Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android operating systems during the past few years, resulting in substantial losses.
Despite launching its new operating platform BB10 coupled with LTE-based high-end touch screen smartphones, the company has failed to recoup its smartphone business. In the third quarter of fiscal 2014, it sold nearly 4.3 million smartphones as compared with 6.9 million smartphones in the prior-year quarter.
As a result, BlackBerry has decided to divest its entire stake to a consortium headed by Toronto-based insurance company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion or $9 per share. Since Fairfax already holds 10% of BlackBerry’s stocks, the buyout will lead to the latter’s privatization. Both Fairfax and BlackBerry have been offered a six-week due diligence period before the transaction can be completed. During this period, BlackBerry can explore better bids.
Currently, BlackBerry carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).