It’s been several weeks since Research In Motion pulled back the curtain on its next-generation BlackBerry 10 operating system, launching a new chapter in its history, along with two smart new handsets. But for the company now known as BlackBerry, there remains much work still to do, and much uncertainty still surrounds it and its future prospects, as rival ecosystems – particularly Android and iOS – continue to dominate the mobile landscape.
That ongoing uncertainty has created a somewhat reactive atmosphere in response to even the smallest hint of clarity over what BlackBerry’s future might look like. Indeed, shares in BlackBerry saw their biggest gain for over a month yesterday – up by 14% at the close of trading – after comments made by the CEO of Lenovo offered a glimmer of insight into what could be on the cards for the Canadian company.
Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told French financial journal Les Echos that his company could buy BlackBerry and, as Bloomberg reports, he was quoted as saying that such an acquisition “could possibly make sense”. But it’s far from a done deal; indeed, despite the positive market reaction to what was said, it’s important to note that Yang also said of BlackBerry that “first I need to analyse the market and understand what exactly the importance of this company is”.
Indeed, Yang isn’t the only one still trying to make that determination. Despite relatively positive critical reception to BlackBerry 10, it’s still very early days in being able to judge just how relevant the new hardware and OS are to consumers and businesses, and how that might translate into longer-term performance forecasts that will inform any assessment of how ‘important’ the company is, as Yang puts it.
This isn’t the first time that Lenovo has been named in connection with a possible BlackBerry takeover; in January, the company’s CFO Wong Wai Ming told Bloomberg that Lenovo was “looking at all opportunities”, including BlackBerry. Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s CEO, unsurprisingly played down those comments, focusing attention instead on his hopes that other companies might want to license the BlackBerry 10 OS.