Blackberry sells its soul for $4.7 billion

* UPDATE – the Crackberry monster announced today it had made a deal with major Canadian investor Fairfax and others to sell itself off for $4.7 billion and to go private. Its shares initially fell on the news but have now been suspended. We guess it could be worse – it could have been bought by possibly the most incompetent mobile player on the globe, the Vole of Nokia.

What do you do if your company’s going down the pan? Fruity Blackberry, it has emerged, decided to buy itself a bigger executive jet.

Just as the ailing pioneer announced it expected to post a $1 billion loss for the latest quarter, it turns out the company had a large corporate jet delivered as recently as July.

Looking through Canadian aircraft registry records, the Wall Street Journal found Blackberry had bought a 2006 Bombardier BBD.B.T in July. The price isn’t public but they generally go for around $30 million.

In a statement, spokesperson Adam Emery said: “Earlier this year the company decided to sell both Dassault planes and replace them with one longer range aircraft. The company considered several options and selected a used Bombardier aircraft, which was eventually delivered in July”.

Although the plane was delivered in July, Blackberry has been in trouble for quite some time.

Since Thorsten Heins took over from Lazaridis and Balsillie he has failed to turn the company around. Admittedly, a larger ship takes longer to steer, but substantial hype generated for the Z10 didn’t manage to persuade the public it wasn’t an also-ran that was a bit like the iPhone. The range was a $1 billion write-off.

In spite of the bad times, Heins has been remarkably vocal about his vision for the future of a sector Blackberry is no longer really shaping at all. He declared tablets as bad for business and had the prescience to boast his company will be on top of the market – soon. 

The company recently announced it intends to cut 40 percent of its entire workforce. 

Whispers are increasingly suggesting Blackberry will have to carve itself into a fruit salad, despatch the rotten bits and sell off the best of its services to the highest bidder if it’s to save itself from turning to mulch.

On top of all the bad news, its BlackBerry Messenger app for Android and Apple devices has been delayed because of a leak, and the BBC describes the Android version “problematic” where it has been released.

Some businesses still like the iconic Blackberry for its security but increasingly CIOs are adoption Bring Your Own Device policies that do away with having to kit out your entire workforce with the smartphones.

Blackberry will now have to give up its Bombardier as it seeks to cut unnecessary costs.

“In light of the company’s current business condition, the company has decided to sell that aircraft along with the two legacy aircraft and will no longer own any planes,” the spokesperson added.