[Poll] Should an Android manufacturer acquire BlackBerry?



A couple of weeks ago, the media was abuzz with the news of BlackBerry’s $4.7 billion sale to Fairfax Financial. As it turns out, BlackBerry’s board isn’t quite satisfied with the deal yet, and as per Reuters are in talks with multiple other companies including Cisco, Google, and Samsung.

There aren’t many details regarding what BlackBerry are pitching to these companies. If I have to make a guess, I believe they would prefer a Nokia-style acquisition where one of the manufacturers pick up their smartphone business while BlackBerry keep hold of their other service like E-mail and BBM. If that were to be the case, a question arises regarding patents. In the Microsoft-Nokia deal, Nokia kept their patents with Microsoft getting a long-term license. In this case, I would presume the patents are up for sale with Blackberry getting a license instead, considering someone like Samsung might be interested in potentially using them aggressively against Apple or Microsoft if the need arises.

On the whole, though, I’m just not sure why anyone would pick up BlackBerry’s smartphone business particularly after their latest quarterly numbers, and several patent-focused acquisitions proving costly mistakes by various  Open Handset Alliance members, will anyone want to take the risk?

If I were any one of these companies (barring Cisco, who might be interested in the services side of things) I would stay away. What do you guys think, should any Android OEM look to acquire BlackBerry?

[polldaddy poll=7452196]

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. maybe…DroidBerry anyone?

    1. sounds like a robot turd

  2. Wouldn’t it be ironic if none other than Nokia bought the hardware division? Think about it, if QNX were included it would be a great addition to Nokia’s existing portfolio (obviously minus the smartphone division it just sold to Microsoft). And following the sale of their current phone division and subsequent clean break from Windows Phone, the hardware division would offer them another chance in the smartphone market at presumably a bargain basement price. Nobody else needs BlackBerry’s hardware division and Nokia is the only manufacturer I’d have faith in to run and maintain an OS considering their prior experience with Symbian.

    The patents would also give a nice boost to Nokia’s already stellar patent portfolio and combined with their existing patents could be a nice money maker to license out.

    Even if the deal didn’t include patents or QNX, they could theoretically take the hardware division and license the BlackBerry name (Nokia isn’t allowed to use the Nokia name on smartphones until 2015 per the Microsoft deal) and enterprise services and reemerge as an Android OEM.

    They’re getting the $7.2 billion from the Microsoft deal and the investment deal for BlackBerry as a whole was worth $4.7 billion. It’s highly unlikely and extremely farfetched, but I’d peg Nokia as one of the only ones able to make this sort of deal work and following the Microsoft deal they certainly have the cash.

  3. it have to be European or US to have approvals from governments, so GOOGLE or APPLE for emterprise strategy

  4. Let BB die. They were great but after a series of epic fails almost on an Atari perspective (80s child) they should just go away. The company I work for they moved from BB to iPhone and android devices ages ago.

  5. I think Google should so all of the enterprise and security patents can be implemented into android

  6. If only for the servers and patents, because their R&D sure as hell can’t make phones that keep up with current specs.

    1. I’m shocked at the amount of ignorance towards BlackBerry’s incredible software engineering. Considering how well BB10 runs worth midrange specs at best, compared to iOS (it needs the best hardware to run well) or Android (which runs quite well on midrange devices, still).

      They don’t need it. The software is ridiculously efficient; I’ve seen it first-hand, and I am a Nexus-only guy.

      1. “compared to iOS (it needs the best hardware to run well)” And yet, the iPhone 5s has lower specs than most of the top-of-the-line Android phones. What crack are you smoking?

        1. What iPhone lacks in CPU power it more than makes up for with the much bigger GPU though.

        2. Exactly what Patrickl said. And the 5S is fantastic in single-threaded applications. Trust me, I’m not HAPPY that Android devices haven’t matched it there, but it’s the reality.

          In multi-threaded applications, however, the Snapdragon 800 destroys it. Also, as stated, the GPUs are very closely matched.

        3. He’s talking about how poorly iOS 7 runs on older iPhones: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/09/new-lease-on-life-or-death-sentence-ios-7-on-the-iphone-4/
          Also, Google’s strategy of OS development has been to improve efficiency and speed (like the implementation of JIT compiler and Project Butter).

  7. I think an Irish company should buy it and move it to a peninsula in Western Ireland. They can even rename the company after it’s new home… Dingle Berry. :P

  8. If Microsoft were serious about competing with Google Android and Apple, I think they should take the risk. They could revive the best of what used to be in Windows Mobile, into their Nokia/Windows Phone, and potentially steal away the former Blackberry owners that moved on to Androids or iPhones. Granted, it wouldn’t be enough for me to move back to trust Microsoft (for phones) again, but I’m sure there are a lot of people that would welcome the productivity Windows Phone (w/ Blackberry components) could provide.

  9. I like BlackBerry’s multitasking. Maybe because it’s new, but it’s cool. I wouldn’t say it’s better per se than android, but definitely novel.

    1. It’s definitely better than Android, IMO. It actually fully runs and renders apps in the background; you can start videotaping with the camera, swap to the browser, start a video, go play a game, and the camera will still be recording and the video will still be playing. It’s REAL multitasking. And if you swap back, there is no pause; the apps were actually processing everything.

      Not that I’d switch; I’m a Nexus-only guy. But we could sure use QNXs incredible software expertise.

      1. Palm’s WebOS was like that. Unfortunately HP has shelved it. It would have been nice for Google to aquire more than just the designer of it.

      2. I like how quick you can get in and out of all your messages. And the minimizing is pretty sweet.

  10. I can’t imagine anyone actually wanting to buy BB. It’s like buying Saab, no turning it around when the ship in sinking.

  11. I think some good could come of it but doubt blackberry would ever be a major player again. Someone could create a more business oriented phone based off android but the market would be limited

  12. I would like to see a BBM type messaging app across all Android devices sort of like imessage on the iPhone, who better to do that than Google although we kinda do still have hangouts lol

    1. In 2010 they would had taken the message market that is more valuable than current BB market. Now its too late. Whatsup is the king of messaging apps with multi cross platform support

  13. Another nut job of an article not at all giving any pros and cons of buying Blackberry.
    The biggest users of BB are the corporate community for security reasons and with the latest software releases of iOS, the concerns for security amongst corporate is only going to grow. The person who acquires BB needs to focus on working on the security part of the business – which is already strong compared to any other OS out there at the moment. No one is going to buy BB for their phones, its going to be for their e-mail – hence to pitch an idea where someone would buy it purely for the phones is crazy. Nokia phones are still adored by many and hence a company buying just the phone division was possible.
    Samsung since the launch of S3 has tried to break into the corporate sector but has not been able to do so due to Androids heightened malware and security risks. Now before people start commenting how more iphones and androids are being used by corporates – its still not high enough compared to BB.
    These are the reasons buying BB for around 5-6 Billion would be worth it (considering 4.7 odd already offered by Fairfax (or whichever that company was)

    1. How about re-reading the article, which states the phone division would most likely come with the patents (which could be of interest to a company like Samsung and their Knox security work). And I explicitly mentioned the past failures of patent-focused acquisitions (by HTC and Google to an extent) might make it unlikely.

      BlackBerry is a rather proud company, with a lot of people in their ranks who would want to see the company not get sold off completely. Which is why they might want to sell of their patents and any other asset that they can, and focus on their enterprise services which they know they excel at. Bringing BBM to iOS and Android proves that they do see a future where they can exist by themselves.

      Overall, in the computers and mobiles industry, most companies that are thin on margins have seen what IBM has done and would rather go that way than sell out completely, even if things get really bad that they decide to shut their entire consumer hardware business for nothing (like HP flirted with back in 2011).

      1. Dont feed the trolls!

    2. LOL @ you for bringing up Android malware.

    3. Android security is good enough for the DOD, but you don’t think it’s good enough for the enterprise market?

  14. Can we name it Green berry?

  15. Apple should buy it and name it ( iberry ) just kidding. i think google should buy it because they can use the patents

    1. Use the patents? For what? After all this time, buying Motorola was a waste of money. I’m sure they don’t want to make the same mistake again.

  16. Lenovo should buy ’em. That would give them an immediate presence on the vast majority of carriers worldwide AND would bolster their business/enterprise aspirations (already strong due to the Thinkpad line). If not Lenovo, another Chinese firm such as ZTE or Huawei could acquire them for immediate legitimacy in the western market BUT any of the above scenarios would likely send US gov’t officials into a frenzy.
    Otherwise, Samsung or LG have the $ to burn and could use the IP/patent boost. I still think there is a solid niche for a solid QWERTY-enabled Android business device targeted at professionals and prosumers.

  17. There are lucrative government and security industry contracts to consider. Those alone make it worth acquiring one would think.

  18. Government should buy it and name it Obamaberry and give them out free.

    1. ok bumblepluck dochebagger

    2. Try not to be a twat your entire life.

    3. BlackBerry is headquartered in Canada, eh ?

      And the latest US political shenanigans don’t seem to indicate there’s money in the budget to spare…

      Obama brought a lot of attention to BB around his 1st election as the first prez (I think) to be “smartphone savvy”.

  19. Blackberry has nothing to offer, but still I believe Android would be the higher bidder, over Apple, because Android employees would mess around with the Blackberry OS and probably try and make a hybrid blackberry/Android device at some point

    1. wat

    2. LOLWUT?!?

    3. Wat

    4. wat?

  20. Microsoft should buy it and release blackberry with windows OS, just like they bought Nokia for that…. I know I know, this is an android forum and I myself love android and dislike any other OS, but I think the only chance windows would have to be relevant in mobile would be with Nokia as well as blackberry phones. Of course price is what matters here, if Microsoft could buy blackberry cheap then that’s the way to go… no Android manufacturer need blackberry.

    1. Two sinking ships will not float together.
      Blackberry as a handset platform is already dead. Too late to the game for BB10. IOS and Android are the current OS kings and without app support even Microsoft is in trouble.
      The only assets they have are the back end services and the non standard mobile patents. Samsung seems to need patents to fight back Apple and Microsoft. They could also bring BB services to the galaxy phones and try to own the corporate market.

  21. I’d prefer the Blackberry, well at least the phone and OS to be and indpendent release, as far a ownership, Be fine by me if some company with some marketing ablity do something with it.

  22. Blackberry should make secure Android handsets

  23. Samsung needs them to take the fight back to Apple and stop being on the defence in patent wars. Google needs them because Google would create something cool with them. No other OEM needs Blackberry.

    1. Right, Samsung needs non standard patents to fight back apple and considering that BB has been in the mobile business for so long creating their own infrastructure before Apple, they must have many usable patents. Messages, back end services, all started with backberry.
      On the other hand, business presence is still strong for BB internationally. They could implement their services on galaxy phones.

  24. Don’t let the Security patents go to Microsoft.
    MS always manages to fudge & smear security with lots of loopholes.

  25. Waste of money. It did not survive because nobody wants it, then you buy it?

  26. Blackberry, Apple, Nokia what is common in all of them ? they are nothing in front of Android hahah ;)

  27. What can BB bring to Android?

  28. many people will say this is a waste of money and that blackberry can bring nothing to android. everyone must think not about product lineup but for the patents. the patent is worth far more than the product and will give google and the android makers better leverage against lawsuits with companies such as apple. i would say buy the company and dissolve the product keeping the intellectual product.

  29. If Samsung buy BB, the huge amount of patents can raise a more agressive behavior in Samsung and make it to start to fight against Google.

    1. wait what ?

    2. no, just no. From what Ive read, Samsung is not that aggresive. And fight against Google? that’s a very deep twist of yours lol

  30. as Kathy responded I’m alarmed that a person can get paid $9726 in one

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  31. Google should buy the hardware, ship it with 4.4 and keep some exclusive BB apps that their fans liked. Bet that would bring some sales.

  32. sure, I chose Google/Moto but really it doesn’t matter who does I would just hate to see the hardware/software fade away and go to waist like that. Maybe it should go open source like WebOS for anyone to take the best bits from.

  33. Google because they can share the patents with all other Android manufacturers if it’s something already baked-in.

  34. BB doesn’t deserve to be treated as rotten apple…

    1. i understand but they dont have nothing to offer the industry right now and 4.7 billion is a lot of scratch for a buy out.

  35. Wait…wait….wait….nope…as hard as IItry I cant sseemto really care what happens to them

  36. Google should buy Blackberry and HTC. A collaboration between Motorola, HTC, and Blackberry would be nothing short of amazing.

    1. i seriously dont see blackberry holding any weight in the market at this point. buying them out would be a bail out for blackberry. the company is shot and has nothing to offer the industry that will benefit google or android right now. 4.7 billion is alot of scratch lets get real if anything google should buy is t-mobile. now that would be something worth investing in seriously.

  37. If anyone should buy them its Amazon

    1. true it would be a great start for amazon to compete with a starter kit. lol

  38. Google needs to buy HTC as they make the best hardware.

  39. google should buy them or HTC but i want them to buy HTC instead

  40. Google can’t save anyone. The mobile industry is at a cross roads, growth is about to plateau and there is way too much competition for everyone to stay profitable. I think it is more critical for Google to keep the current family healthy. Maybe they can sell off Motorola and then position to save HTC if needed.

    I think Microsoft and Blackberry makes more sense because it will represent a great chance for a united play for the enterprise. I really want a viable third player in the mobile game. It will keep Google and Apple competitive and honest.

    1. Google is in no position to be buying out other OEMs at the moment as they have their hands full with their buyout of Motorola. Google still haven’t made a profit off the deal, and are still holding out on the promise of M delivering a Google service-friendly platform for the mobile consumer.

  41. They’ll just fade away like palm

  42. Who is bothered about buying a bull crap company which wont even survive after 7 years? its true, a research recently published that blackberry is going to survive only for 7 years.

  43. google should buy it and should start giving the secure server services to the android users and tell apple its level

  44. Is it even possible for a non-Canadian company to buy Blackberry? Maybe that’s why it was bought out by the unlikely sounding Fairfax Financial, because it’s Canadian.

  45. BlackBerry’s patent portfolio has time and time again been shown in the courts to contain a lot of hot air, and their current business would be gone by the time a deal was negotiated and closed. That leaves their staff, the better of which are leaving or being dismissed, and their facilities. Frankly, their factories are pretty darned good and their office facilities, for the most part, are good as well. So, if one wants to produce some electronics thingy in Canada and can find enough staff to fill their office buildings, it’ll be a great deal.

  46. What do you think about…

    “MOTO BLACK – an enterprise grade phone, when security matters.”

    Think of the brand name. overpriced buy but it could pay out in the end.

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  47. 4.7 billion isnt worth the scratch imho. i coukd be wrong but if iam not what would the buyer be gaining? that amount of money doesnt seem worth it.

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