Why BlackBerry fell

The demise of proud tech companies can usually be tracked back to a couple of decisions, a handful of market changes, or a philosophy that caught up with them. In the case of BlackBerry, it’s a little more complicated than normal.

Late last year, Research In Motion Ltd. chief executive officer Thorsten Heins sat down with the board of directors at the company’s Waterloo, Ont., headquarters to review plans for the launch of a new phone designed to turn around the company’s fortunes.

His weapon was the BlackBerry Z10, a slim device with the kind of glass touchscreen that had made Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. the dominant names in the global smartphone market.

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