Superstar singer Justin Bieber has snapped up BlackBerry for an undisclosed fee.
A handful of rumours about the Canadian wannabe bad-boy's intention to rescue the beleaguered company made the rounds over the last few months, but were largely dismissed as worthless chit-chat. However, it turns out that the gossipers were right on the money.
The former teenager has long been an admirer of the firm's products and, in 2009, was reported to have said of his BlackBerry Bold mobile, "You are my love, you are my heart and we will never, ever, ever be apart."
Canadians on the whole seem thrilled that two of the country's most famous products have united to take on the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google in the smartphone arena.
Unfortunately, Bieber's rise to superstardom has coincided with BlackBerry's spectacular demise. Last week, the smartphone manufacturer revealed its fourth quarter financial figures, announcing a 64 per cent revenue reduction year-on-year. It is difficult to believe that just five years ago, the company boasted over 50 per cent of the US smartphone market.
Regardless, the singer is confident of bringing stability back to BlackBerry and restoring its integrity. Moving forwards, BlackBerry is expected to retarget the younger end of the consumer market that it abandoned in favour of the enterprise. As we all know, this particular change in strategy was ultimately disastrous, with the rise of the bring your own device (BYOD) movement helping rivals mobile firms to conquer offices all over the globe.
It is understood that several members of the BlackBerry board had reservations over the Bieber takeover, but were won over by some rousing words from the singer. "If I was your [owner], I'd never let you go," he is reported to have told them, focusing his speech on long-term commitment and investment. "I can take you places you ain't ever been before. Baby, take a chance or you'll never ever know, I got swag in my hands that I'd really like to blow. Swag, swag, swag, on you."
When asked what he intends to do with the company, Bieber said, "[I want to make it] bigger, better, stronger, power."
The troubled singer has made the news more for his misdemeanours than his hits of late, and was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of drink driving. He has also been accused of assault and was jeered by fans on multiple occasions for turning up late to performances. BlackBerry itself seems to have taken a leaf out of Bieber's feisty book, recently lashing out at Typo for apparently infringing on its patents.
This could spell bad news for fans of the popstar – alternatively known as "Beliebers". The singer made waves over the festive period after hinting that he could soon retire from the music industry. Bearing in mind BlackBerry's current state, serious business matters could soon become Bieber's primary day job.
BlackBerry has endured a tenuous relationship with musicians, infamously appointing Alicia Keys as its "global creative director" back in January 2013. The two parties went their separate ways 12 months later, with precious little to have come out of the relationship.