This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Can Ford Rescue BlackBerry?

Detroit (TheStreet) -- Blackberry (BBRY) shares were rising Monday after reports surfaced that the Ontario-based company will take over Ford's  (F) disappointing Sync voice-activated system.

A relationship with Ford would be a coup for Blackberry, which was the early leader in the smartphone business when it was introduced in 1999 but has been losing ground for years. Blackberry shares were up 59 cents to $9.73 in early morning trading.

Sync has been one of Ford's few disappointments in recent years, one of the few blemishes on the company since Alan Mulally took over as CEO in 2006. Sync and the MyFord Touch infotainment system have consistently held Ford back in vehicle quality ratings by both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power.

Microsoft (MSFT) has been Ford's partner since Sync was introduced in 2007. The switch from Microsoft was initially reported on Feb. 19 in The Hansen Report, an automotive electronics newsletter, which said that Ford's third-generation Sync technology will be based on QNX from Blackberry, not Windows Embedded Automotive from Microsoft.

"Ford has been trying for many months to find a company to take over maintenance of the Sync 2 software," the newsletter said. Although Ford and Microsoft broke ground with the first and second Sync platforms, Sync 2 "has been criticized for being glitch prone and difficult to operate," it said, noting that "Ford is not at all done with Microsoft, but wants to work with the company differently going forward."

Ford said it will continue to work with Microsoft and wouldn't comment specifically on a future relationship with Sync.

"Ford and Microsoft are longtime partners, and we continue working together for the future," said spokeswoman Susannah Wesley in an email. "Ford works with a variety of partners and suppliers to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers. We do not discuss details of our work with others or speculate on future products for competitive reasons."

A Blackberry spokesperson was not immediately available to comment. Sources told Bloomberg that "using QNX will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system.

Ford has built more than 10 million vehicles worldwide that are equipped with Sync, "which allows customers to make phone calls, change radio stations and find nearby destinations without taking their hands off the wheel," The Detroit News reported. "The automaker could easily update the software of those vehicles already equipped with Sync to the BlackBerry software," a source told the newspaper.

Blackberry shares traded as high as $148.13 in 2008. In November 2013, a $4.7 billion buyout of the company collapsed, and shares fell as low as $5.98.

In 2011, the company rejected takeover overtures from Amazon (AMZN).

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

To contact this writer, click here.

Follow @tedreednc

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,067.46 -12.11 -0.07%
S&P 500 2,000.38 +3.64 0.18%
NASDAQ 4,572.9770 +15.2820 0.34%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs