Business, Finance & Economics

Blackberry up for sale after years of decline

blackberry_10_launch.jpg

BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins displays one of the new Blackberry smartphones at the BlackBerry 10 launch event by Research in Motion at Pier 36 in Manhattan on January 30, 2013 in New York City. The new smartphone and mobile operating system is being launched simultaneously in six cities.

Credit:

Mario Tama

Struggling handset maker Blackberry was finally put up for sale Friday after years of decline.

The Canada-based company euphemistically said it was exploring "strategic alternatives," which likely means that it will be sold to another company.

The company's market share has slid to 2.9 percent, down nearly half from the year before. Microsoft, once a minor player in the cell phone game, sold more handsets than Blackberry last year.

Blackberry's demise comes just seven months after the company launched a new operating system, and gave itself a new name.

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The move was meant to renew the brand and encourage sales, but it seems like it was a case of too little, too late. The company lost an estimated $646 million in 2012. Share prices dropped precipitously.

Apple, Android and Microsoft appear to be the only contenders in the operating system field, while Samsung dominates as the top handset maker.

News of the sale sent Blackberry shares up 10 percent on Monday to close at $10.78 per share.

Potential buyers of Blackberry include private equity firms and other technology companies that may look to own some of its patents.