Losing the Signal

Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff Flatiron Books, 288 pages, $27.99

Neither Jim Balsillie nor Mike Lazaridis has spoken much in public since they stepped down as co-chairmen and co-chief executives of BlackBerry. That changed with two reporters from the Globe and Mail in Toronto, Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, for their "Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry."

BlackBerry found success making carriers products that worked efficiently on their networks. As a result, executives underestimated Apple because current networks couldn't handle the iPhone data. They didn't conceive that consumer demand would make carriers invest in their networks.

The book also shows one of the greatest wealth transfers in our generations: Carriers at first held enormous power in the smartphone race. Verizon pushed BlackBerry to deliver its touch-screen Storm phone in little more than a year, and when the rushed product failed, Verizon demanded $500 million to recover its losses. BlackBerry balked at the big ask, but in the end shouldered more than $100 million in repairs and other benefits. In the wake of Apple's ascendancy, carriers have seen their clout and economic value significantly diminished as customers spend more of their money on Apple phones, apps and other content than they do on carrier bills.