Developing – Canadian Investment Firm Offers to Purchase Blackberry

The consortium has offered $4.7B dollars for the once dominant smartphone manufacturer

blackberry_logoTo be honest with everyone, this one took me by surprise. If you didn’t know Blackberry was looking for a buyer, you were likely living under a rock. I thought this might come eventually, but not as quickly as it did.

This story is developing, so you should watch Soft32 for updates to this over the next few days. I’ll try to have something on this as developments occur. In short, though, a consortium, led by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, has offered $4.7B in cash for the once dominant smartphone manufacturer. The deal is supported by Blackberry’s Board of Directors. (honestly, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t).

Fairfax is said to currently own 10% of Blackberry now. Their all cash offer would acquire the remaining 90% of outstanding shares at $9 per share. When the offer was announced, BBRY was trading at about 8.25. The company’s stock closed at 8.76, after peaking at 9.01.

The deal, outlined in a letter of intent, gives Fairfax and Blackberry until 2013-11-04 to complete Due Diligence. During this time, Blackberry can continue to shop the company for a better offer.

Blackberry has decided to abandon their pursuit of the consumer market and will instead concentrate on the enterprise. However, this won’t save the currently 4500 employees worldwide that are currently targeted in a downsizing. In foregoing the consumer market and concentrating on the enterprise, its thought that Blackberry can retain what value it currently has, despite its $1B charge against unsold Z10 smartphones and a drop to number 4, behind Windows Phone, in the smartphone market.

We’ll have to wait and see.

This story is currently developing and I’ll have more on this as the facts come to light. I’ll also have some personal insight after I have a chance to digest all of the facts. As it stands, there’s a lot going on here, and the entire tale has yet to be told.

Stay tuned to Soft32 for more.

I have a concern about this, as it seems like a little too late to make much of a difference…

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iPhone fought the Galaxy and the Samsung Won

As the two heavyweights in the smartphone market go toe-to-toe, trading blows from the courthouse to the high street, the question on most people’s minds is how do we know which is the best?

Unfortunately there is no magic formula for giving a precise conclusion as the devices outweigh each other in different areas. There are, however, some key points on which we can focus to judge the phones against each other.

In terms of design the Samsung Galaxy S3 is slightly bigger in all respects and has gone with a traditional removable battery and plastic casing. The finish does not really do justice to its substantial price tag and in this respect the iPhone 5’s metallic finish with bevelled edge makes for a much better looking device. The debate over which design is better has truly separated the warring factions. Basically, if you prefer a bigger phone the Samsung wins, if you prefer something that looks more sophisticated then the iPhone is a better choice.

When it comes to screen size the Samsung is superior, although the iPhone 5 has upped its game to offer a 4 inch 1,136 x 640 widescreen display, it lags some distance behind the Galaxy with its whopping 4.8 inch 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED screen. The preference in screen also comes down to a question of taste. The vivid colours produced by the AMOLED are counterbalanced by the natural look produced by the iPhone’s IPS technology. In strong sunlight the IPS resolution produces a much more effective display, whereas in a dark environment the Samsung screen produces stunning results.

The comparison between the software on offer in these devices has also been a major focus for discussion. It has been argued that the Samsung’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich offers a wider range of integrated features and a greater level of flexibility than the iPhone’s iOS 6 operating system. The Android system allows you to set up your screen and alter the way the phone responds to basic functions with far more control that you will find on the restrictive system provided by iOS 6. The intuitive performance of the Apple system is still very effective and pleasurable to work with.

Measuring the power is generally a straightforward process and one which usually provides a clear winner. In this respect Samsung’s bigger device seems to have the upper hand and boasts a mightily impressive 1GB RAM, with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. Perhaps in an effort not to be outdone Apple have not revealed any in-depth tech information on their processor making it impossible to give a definitive answer on which one is the best.

The issue of connectivity offers some clear points of comparison and the Galaxy S3 is head and shoulders ahead on this point. The device has ports for microUSB, microSD, and microSIM connections. It does not require a system sync for file transfer and you can simply drag and drop files onto your computer when plugged in by USB. The iPhone 5 is the first version of the device to move away from the standard Apple 30 pin connector, favouring instead a smaller 8 pin model. That is it as far as connectors are concerned however, and all transfer of files or media is tied in to iTunes.

In conclusion, it would seem that for the first time the untouchable Apple iPhone has been matched and exceeded by a competitor. Of course, there are a number of elements in the competition that do come down to a matter of taste, but in a straight head-to-head scorecard the iPhone has been delivered some serious body blows, and has suffered a points defeat to a bigger, and better opponent.

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