As BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s board of directors considers strategic options, Canadian officials are looking on in earnest. The company was innovative and successful for many years, but the struggle has gotten so great that the company just might shut down or sell out completely.
It makes sense that Canada has a vested interest in what happens to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). The company was one of the nation’s greatest success stories, but even the mighty fall down at some point. The only question now is whether BlackBerry will be able to get back up, reinvent itself or dispose of itself one part at a time.
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BlackBerry and Nortel
John Paczkowski of All Things D compares BlackBerry to former Canadian tech company Nortel Networks. He points out that Nortel “failed rather spectacularly a few years back,” which struck a major blow not only to Canada’s technology ecosystem, but also to the nation’s pride.
And with the speed at which BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has been falling this year, we could see a repeat of what happened with Nortel.
BlackBerry’s place in Canada
BlackBerry holds an important position in Canada’s technology ecosystem, not just because its success and innovative history, but also because the company is a major employer within the country. The handset maker spends a lot of money on research and development in Canada.
If the company doesn’t overcome the challenges it is facing right now, then it would be a major blow for the Kitchener-Waterloo area where most of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB)’s operations are based. Just this week, the company announced more job cuts in Canada, and more are sure to come. But all may not be lost for Canada’s tech industry if BlackBerry goes down.
Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair told All Things D, “BlackBerry’s downfall is a black eye for the country’s tech sector as the once mighty RIM has now fallen. “But I think the good news is that the prior success of the company has generated a startup tech culture that we’re likely to see the fruits of in the years to come.”