Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Buying BlackBerry: Which company is the best fit?

Published Sep 6th, 2013 11:55AM EDT
BlackBerry Potential Buyers Analysis

BlackBerry is on the market and the company reportedly wants to get a deal done by November. But just who would want to buy the company? SmartPlanet has talked with three analysts who all have widely differing views of what company, if any, will be a good fit to merge with the iconic Canadian smartphone manufacturer. The most grim view seems to come from Tech.pinions analyst Steve Wildstrom, who doesn’t list any potential buyers and who runs down all the potential downsides of buying the firm.

“The problem with the server business is that BB 10 uses Exchange ActiveSync rather than traditional BES for mail-contact-calendar sync,” he tells SmartPlanet. “This turns BES into basically a mobile device management server for BB and now Android and iOS, a fairly crowded field. The government contracts are great for as long as they run, but not many agencies are looking to renew them.”

Not all the analysts interviewed were quite so grim, although Forrester Research’s Charles Golvin doesn’t think it’s likely that the company will be sold off as a whole. Rather, he thinks that multiple companies will pick and choose the valuable pieces of BlackBerry that will best help them instead of taking on the entire company.

“It’s very difficult to identify a single company that would benefit from acquiring all of BlackBerry,” Golvin tells SmartPlanet. “Individual companies could benefit from one or more of the distinct assets, including possibly Oracle, HP, Lenovo, and Cisco. I don’t, however, see Microsoft in this list (though others apparently do). So my belief is that BlackBerry will, essentially, be sold for its constituent parts and not as a going concern.”

And finally, the most optimistic view comes from Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group, who thinks that BlackBerry is still “valuable both for their patents and their large-scale government and enterprise deployments” and for its platform that is “naturally more secure.” With this in mind, Enderle thinks that enterprise-centric firms such as Lenovo and Intel would be natural fits for the company, especially given how both firms are looking to get more deeply involved in the mobile market.

“Lenovo [wants[ out of China on smartphones and there would be a ton of synergy between their strong ThinkPad products and BlackBerry,” he says. “They would eventually likely spin the handset business out again so they could expand to other handset makers but the initial move would give them a footprint in an area they know well .”

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.