Investment bank Morgan Stanley is delaying a planned upgrade of its BlackBerry smartphones because of fears about the Canadian firm's ability to support the latest BlackBerry 10 platform over the long term, according to Bloomberg.
Two inside sources told the news agency that the bank is likely to stick with its 2011 BlackBerry 7 devices for now, while it seeks assurances that support for the BlackBerry 10 platform will continue, despite radical changes to the company currently being discussed by its board.
If the report proves to be correct, this will be yet one more blow to the smartphone vendor that not so long ago was a byword for enterprise mobility.
A month ago Computing reported that drinks manufacturer Britvic was dumping BlackBerry in favour of Windows Phone devices by Nokia, although in that case the stated reason was for better integration with Britvic's Microsoft infrastructure. At around the same time, German telcoms carrier Telefonica dropped BlackBerry as its employee smartphone provider of choice, also in favour of Nokia, complaining of BlackBerry's high charges, and there have been persistent rumours (albiet denied) of the US Department of Defense and FBI following suit.
The Crackberry blog site blamed the August 12th announcement by CEO Thorsten Heins that a special board committee had been set up dedicated to "exploring strategic alternatives" - including break-up, sale or privatisation of BlackBerry - for the reported delay by Morgan Stanley, saying:
"It was a huge mistake for BlackBerry to announce strategic reviews without more details. This is why. No one is buying while there is uncertainty over the future... Expect this to be the first of many... along with app developers, carrier support, etc."
BlackBerry spokesman Adam Emery would not comment on Morgan Stanley's plans, but he told Bloomberg:
"We remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers and shareholders. We believe in our innovative technologies and we are laser-focused on delivering long-term value."