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BlackBerry can survive as niche smartphone maker, board member claims

BlackBerry could survive as a niche smartphone maker, Bert Nordberg, a member of the BlackBerry board has told the Wall Street Journal.

Nordberg also said he believed the company should sell off at least some of its parts and reiterated that the board is still open to an outright sale, as well as any partnership opportunities.

He did not give a suggestion as to which parts should be sold off however.

Nordberg joined the ailing smartphone maker's board in February and is currently a member of the firm's special committee tasked with exploring "strategic alternatives" that could result in an outright sale.

The committee was formed at the start of August, but no word on potential buyers or partners has yet been made public by the firm. A senior Samsung exec recently ruled out the possibility of a takeover, a purchase by Chinese tech firm Levono could be a possibility though.

The BlackBerry board does however accept that "there can be no assurance" that a buyer or partner will be found, it said last month in a statement.

An original pioneer in smartphone development, it has failed to keep up with the growth and dominance of iPhone and Android, particularly with device consumers' focus shifting from work and email to entertainment.

The company's market share in the US has collapsed from 50 per cent in 2009 to just three per cent. It is now worth a meagre $4.8 billion (£3.1 billion) compared to a 2008 peak of $84 billion (£54 billion).