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The Blackberry story is an interesting one. They kept growing in the aftermath of the iPhone through corporate sales because enterprise preferred the tight integration between BES and Active Directory, and they liked that BB phones could have nearly the same draconian IT lock-down policy as office computers.

Even after growth stalled, they had a ton of cash to keep their operations afloat. But they burned up a lot of it in manufacturing the Playbook tablet, which was a big flop.

Interestingly, Blackberry Messenger had 75 million subscribers in 2011, and had a similar cachet of exclusivity as early FB, when signups were limited to those with .edu addresses. CEO Jim Balsillie pushed for BBM to become a cross-platform software product, but his co-CEO wanted to focus on devices and security, and not build software for other platforms. We all know how that ended.

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