Financial News

  • 6 January 2014, 9:58

Alicia Keys And BlackBerry Part Company

Grammy-winning Alicia Keys and BlackBerry are cutting ties just one year after the singer was hired as a 'creative director' for the struggling smartphone maker.

The Canadian company partnered with the singer-songwriter in January 2013 when it launched its much-delayedBlackBerry Z10.

The relationship between it and Ms Keys got off to a bad start when early on some technologyblogsalleged that a tweet from the star appeared to have been sent from an iPhone.

TheZ10 was BlackBerry's first full touch-screen phone but proved unpopular with customers who preferred to hold onto earlier models with their easy-to-use keyboards. And even the glamour of a worldwide popstar was not enough to tempt people to flock to the new model.

In a statement BlackBerry thanked Ms Keys for her part in the year-long collaboration:

"We thank Alicia for her many contributions including providing creative direction for the BlackBerry Keep Moving Project which attracted more than 40m visits."

BlackBerry, which once dominated the corporate smartphone arena, has struggled in recent years to stop rapid market share losses to the likes of Apple and Samsung.

In September, the smartphonemaker announced it would slash 4,500 jobs worldwide in a desperate attempt to cut costs. And in December, it reported a loss of 2.7bn ($4.4bn) in its third quarter.

The company is now retreating from the consumer market to focus on businesses, governments and other large organisations.

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