Lenovo eyeing Blackberry as a potential acquisition

26.11.2013 Rezman Mirsom
If there’s one smartphone company on the market everybody seems to have already given up on, it’s Blackberry. Canadian smartphone vendor became famous for the used-to-be stylish plastic QWERTY keyboards on their devices, but ever since the world decided it was time to make a silent transition to touch screens, it has found it difficult to keep up. With the sales of their strongest all-touch contender, Z10, plummeting from the very start, the company had no choice but to report a loss of almost a billion dollars for the second quarter of 2013. Since then, CEO’s pep talk about not giving up gave way to rumors of a potential sale, with Fairfax Financial Holding being lauded as the strongest suitor. However, due to disagreements about the actual market value of Blackberry’s shares, this deal seems to have been put on the backburner, and the company’s fate is back to being uncertain as ever. But now, in a fairly surprising twist of events, Chinese PC and smartphone maker Lenovo takes center stage as a potential savior of Blackberry.

Even though the company is still trying to establish relevance in the international domain, Lenovo is undoubtedly successful across multiple platforms, including PCs, tablets and smartphones, with their dominance now primarily demonstrated in the home market of China. However, in the last quarter of 2012, Lenovo broke clean into the top five of the world’s largest smartphone vendors, with their tablets and phone sales outstripping the revenue of its PC division in 2013, for the first time since the company’s genesis. The deal with Blackberry could help Lenovo to finally position itself as a more serious global player in the smartphone arena, one that could possibly even go head-to-head against heavyweights like Apple or their neighboring South-Korean tech giant Samsung. It does, however, remain uncertain exactly how valuable a Blackberry brand is at this point, with the company losing so many customers and fans on a daily basis.

In any case, a full acquisition of Blackberry is probably not in the cards for Lenovo, mostly due to security concerns. The networks of Blackberry still store quite a lot of confidential info, both from private/corporate and the government sector, and since Lenovo is a foreign company, according to the Canadian law, the government has to OK the acquisition, which it is unlikely to do. Still, a partial takeover could happen, which would probably be Blackberry’s best bet at this point, and possibly a strong purchase for Lenovo.

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