Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Canada: Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry eyes sale

13th Aug 2013

Smartphone maker BlackBerry has formed a committee to discuss strategic options, including the possible sale of the company. It has been struggling in the face of competition from Apple and Android-operated rivals.

BlackBerry announced Monday it had formed the special committee to analyze “strategic alternatives,” in the hope of boosting the company’s value.

In a statement the Canadian firm said the committee would consider “possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the company or other possible transactions.”

The board’s committee would seek ways “to enhance value and increase scale” to help deploy its products based on its new BlackBerry 10 platform, the statement said.

The news was greeted by shareholders as BlackBerry stocks climbed 4.5 percent to $10.20 (7.7 euros) in trading in New York following the announcement.

BlackBerry, a pioneer in the smartphone industry, has been marginalized in recent years by companies using the Google Android operating system and by Apple’s iPhone.

New phones boasting a revamped operating system called BlackBerry 10 were released seven months ago to turn the company around. Sales proved disappointing, however, and its market share continued to lag.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), BlackBerry’s global market share slipped to 3.7 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since tracking began.

“It looks like we are approaching the end of the road for BlackBerry,” said technology analyst Jeff Kagan. “They are looking for the next alternative. Apparently they are simply not selling enough new devices.”

BlackBerry president and chief executive Thorsten Heins was more optimistic in his outlook.

“We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition,” Heins said.

BlackBerry released its first smartphone in 1999 which quickly became a must-have for many consumers, particularly on-the-go professionals. Its dominance in the market was challenged in 2007, however, when apple released the iphone.

ccp/ng (AFP, AP)

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