Should Microsoft step in to buy Blackberry, or should Samsung, or even Amazon?

The Blackberry Z10, the first device with the Blackberry 10 OS, is officially a sales failure.

Blackberry's announcement on MOnday that it is officially seeking "strategic alternatives", including a possible sale of the smartphone company, has already stirred the pot among financial analysts and technology enthusiasts over which company should buy it.

The CNBC business cable news network had a segment today on just that very topic and brought up several companies that in theory could buy Blackberry. Of course, Microsoft was mentioned as a possible buyer and indeed the segment had Roy Choi of TechnoBuffalo mentioning both Microsoft and Samsung as potential bidders for the company.

Even Amazon was brought up in the CNBC segment as a bidder for Blackberry. The company has been rumored to be wanting to enter the smartphone business for some time now and a purchase of Blackberry might be a fast track to accomplish this. Apple and Google are not likely to be interested in Blackberry at this stage.

However, most analysts think that ultimately no one will be putting up their money to take over Blackberry. That may leave one other option which has already been rumored before today's announcement; taking the company private again and perhaps getting out of the hardware business in favor of a software and services approach. Meanwhile, the stock price of Blackberry went up over 10 percent in trading today following the "strategic alternatives" press release.

Source: CNBC

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38 Comments

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I think for MS the 2 main advantages would be the patents and the established enterprise footprint if that even still exists...most corporations have moved to eoa approaches over the last few years

they're about 6yrs too late to make a good sale..... </s>

but who will buy them? probably some venture capitalist that want's to take all the patents and profitable parts and throw the rest away... not a company like MS, Apple, or Samsung

Microsoft needs to buy them, but Nokia needs to be among the first to implement. BB's b2b software and services, plus related patents, seem to be an absolute natural for the WP platform.

Chikairo said,
... seem to be an absolute natural for the WP platform.

in other words, current WP are sorely lacking those, no?

Torolol said,

in other words, current WP are sorely lacking those, no?
Nothing is so good it can't get better. Also, buying the business would probably mean buying the customer list and contracts.

I think the only possible buyer could be Amazon. Amazon could do something interesting with Blackberry, since their Android product(s) don't seem to be working out and all people are interested in is hacking the tablet into their own thing.

They will wait for it to fail some more so its more cheap, then buy it for the patents and destroy the brand a little at a time.

Microsoft needs it if it has to grab a large base of Enterprise users in Phone Sector, which indeed helps to give advantage in PC Sector.

I like the partnership with Nokia however they need to change something for me. In it's current form it's not attractive enough for me to leave iOS or Android.

WP has nothing new to offer to the table. Android is open whereas iOS is closed. If WP was middle ground such as opening more API's (EG a replacement keyboard) it would make it a much better alternative to iOS. Right now though its an iOS clone without the mass selection of Apps on offer.

SK[ said,]I like the partnership with Nokia however they need to change something for me. In it's current form it's not attractive enough for me to leave iOS or Android.


WP has nothing new to offer to the table. Android is open whereas iOS is closed. If WP was middle ground such as opening more API's (EG a replacement keyboard) it would make it a much better alternative to iOS. Right now though its an iOS clone without the mass selection of Apps on offer.

Those keyboard apps. Thanks no need. I like the way WP restricts core functionality and not to mess up like ugly android. If WP gets better games, first class support from developers, that's more than enough.

nitins60 said,

Those keyboard apps. Thanks no need. I like the way WP restricts core functionality and not to mess up like ugly android. If WP gets better games, first class support from developers, that's more than enough.

The keyboard is horrible as it can't even auto correct a simple mistake if you're typing fast. My 920 is a joke compared to my Nexus 4. Maybe Microsoft should improve their keyboard or allow someone like SwiftKey to make one for them. The only positives for the phone is the camera and the way Windows does Facebook integration. Apps are worse than on Android, Nokia drive is worse than Google Maps, and keyboard is far worse. Let's hope for the sake of competition that Microsoft makes a few steps forward.

I think the keyboard on WP is pretty good actually, but I think it wouldn't hurt the platform to allow alternatives. Especially since historically some of the best keyboard alternatives were originally developed for WM.

WP is so close, just a few tweaks here and there (but a lot of them) and it'd have the edge over iOS and Android. With the app gap dwindling, by the time WP8.1 comes out next year MS have the chance to really take off their market-share. Whether they will deliver is another matter.

FL4T said,

The keyboard is horrible as it can't even auto correct a simple mistake if you're typing fast. My 920 is a joke compared to my Nexus 4. Maybe Microsoft should improve their keyboard or allow someone like SwiftKey to make one for them. The only positives for the phone is the camera and the way Windows does Facebook integration. Apps are worse than on Android, Nokia drive is worse than Google Maps, and keyboard is far worse. Let's hope for the sake of competition that Microsoft makes a few steps forward.


Your keyboard may be better but that doesn't make WP's keyboard "horrible". WP's keyboard is good.

FL4T said,

The keyboard is horrible as it can't even auto correct a simple mistake if you're typing fast. My 920 is a joke compared to my Nexus 4. Maybe Microsoft should improve their keyboard or allow someone like SwiftKey to make one for them. The only positives for the phone is the camera and the way Windows does Facebook integration. Apps are worse than on Android, Nokia drive is worse than Google Maps, and keyboard is far worse. Let's hope for the sake of competition that Microsoft makes a few steps forward.

I guess you can keep Nexus4 and say goodbye to WP. WP may not have the best, but it's keyboard is very very good.

Yeh pretty much the only company I could see wanting them. Although they'd ditch BB OS10 and put their fork of Android in it I'd imagine.

TheShark said,
Yeh pretty much the only company I could see wanting them. Although they'd ditch BB OS10 and put their fork of Android in it I'd imagine.

Yeah, id expect a whole re-branding of the company. Especially getting rid of os10.

BBM is a direct competitor to Exchange and getting a hold of BB's intellectual property/patents could be the only reason buying Blackberry. A buyout and a split of BB could be a good reason buying BB. Maybe a MS/Nokia joint buyout?

Amazon on the other hand have good reasons to buy BB because of what Amazon lacks and could become if they want to expand their operations into devices. They could get a hold of a whole competitor to Exchange that would complement their BigData services.

What interests me the most is the price of the possible acquisition. I'm confident that MS could pull the trigger for such a purchase. However, it's not worth it if the price is too high.

Ilgauskas said,
What interests me the most is the price of the possible acquisition. I'm confident that MS could pull the trigger for such a purchase. However, it's not worth it if the price is too high.

Dont just look at the dollar terms. Look at the value from the eventual buyer's perspective. If MS wants to eliminate a competitor, then a couple of billion thrown at BB would not be a bad investment.

Apple, Samsung and Google might not get a Blackberry purchase past the antitrust authorities. They're already very dominant in the mobile space and I doubt the authorities would really want to give them more power.

Microsoft I think could sneak past the antitrust regulators with the argument that they are failing in the mobile market. MS if they bought BB would buy them for the enterprise software users, though I imagine they might get interesting stuff from the QNX team. The hardware side of things I doubt interests MS. A Skype-Lync-BBM mashup would be interesting...

Nokia would get past the regulators, as would companies like Sony or HTC. I doubt Nokia would buy them - they don't really want another OS team and I doubt the potential userbase would be lucrative enough.

Amazon could probably quite easily get a purchase past antitrust regulators, and it would probably make strategic sense to expand their more "consumer" focus into the business world. Give the Kindles business creds.

Major_Plonquer said,
Blackberry is a Canadian company and have nothing to do with antitrust.

I'm pretty sure that even though Apple/Google/MS are U.S. companies and Blackberry Canadian that they still must be approved by antitrust regulators.

The NSA. Rather than having to spy, if they ran their own mobile company they could just look at their own data.

Microsoft, yes!

Microsoft loves patents & BlackBerry has lots of them in mobile. Second, a BlackBerry-branded Windows Phone & tablet aimed at the enterprise might be very appealing; thereby leaving Nokia to focus on the consumer market.

BlackBerry already has great relationships with all of the major phone companies (something Microsoft needs) as well as global distribution (again, something Microsoft needs to continue to build upon). For the right price, the enterprise synergies of Microsoft & BlackBerry could be very formidable.