The members of BlackBerry's board are hoping to have the company (or parts of it) sold by November of this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. November is sooner than expected, given BlackBerry first announced the news of putting itself up for sale in August.
BlackBerry is reportedly pushing for a quick deal, following Microsoft $7 billion acquisition of Nokia this week. Given the acquisition is pretty substantial for the phone market, BlackBerry doesn't want the Microsoft-Nokia deal to have an effect on the value of BlackBerry's brand. Additionally, the longer customers see the sale process dragging on, the more it could affect their perception of the brand.
Interestingly, Microsoft is said to be a potential buyer, but there are others too. BlackBerry's special committee to "explore strategic alternatives" has held preliminary talks with several companies and a list of potential bidders have been narrowed down, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It's not clear if the BlackBerry brand will be sold as a whole or in bits and pieces with the main smartphone entity to become a niche player in the market. Bert Nordberg, former CEO of Sony Ericsson and now a BlackBerry board member, said there were "subsets within the company that it can get rid of" in an interview with the WSJ.
"I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company. But being a niche company means deciding to be a niche company."
One subset BlackBerry could spin-off is its relatively successful BlackBerry Messenger service. Reports indicated in late-August BlackBerry's messaging services would form under would be called BBM Inc, if the company chooses to execute the split.
It shouldn't be too much longer until we hear BlackBerry's fate.