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BlackBerry throws in the towel?

The company is understood to have formed a special board committee to examine all its options - these might include a strategic partnership or joint venture as well as a straight sell-off to the highest (or any) bidder.

The move follows swiftly in the wake of disappointing sales results for its latest devices running the company's BB 10 OS, seen as the potential make-or-break for the Canadian vendor which at one time was the dominant smartphone player along with Nokia.

Then of course came Apple with the iPhone, - a wake-up call that was pretty-much ignored. But RIM's Grim Reaper was really Android - but by that time that was understood it was too late and BlackBerry has really spent the last year or two rearranging deck chairs as the band played on.

BlackBerry shares rose 9.4 per cent in pre-market trading. All this follows a report last week that the board were increasingly open to a private equity buyer.

Thorsten Heins is still playing the old record though, saying: “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."

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