Blackberry up for sale after years of decline

Struggling Canadian handset maker Blackberry said it was exploring " title="blackberry sale" itemProp="contentUrl" />

Struggling Canadian handset maker Blackberry said it was exploring "strategic alternatives" after years of declining sales.

Struggling handset maker Blackberry was finally put up for sale Friday after years of decline.

The Canada-based company euphemistically said it was exploring "strategic alternatives," which likely means that it will be sold to another company.

The company's market share has slid to 2.9 percent, down nearly half from the year before. Microsoft, once a minor player in the cell phone game, sold more handsets than Blackberry last year.

Blackberry's demise comes just seven months after the company launched a new operating system, and gave itself a new name.

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The move was meant to renew the brand and encourage sales, but it seems like it was a case of too little, too late. The company lost an estimated $646 million in 2012. Share prices dropped precipitously.

Apple, Android and Microsoft appear to be the only contenders in the operating system field, while Samsung dominates as the top handset maker.

News of the sale sent Blackberry shares up 10 percent on Monday to close at $10.78 per share.

Potential buyers of Blackberry include private equity firms and other technology companies that may look to own some of its patents.