Seeking BlackBerry's Next Suitor if It's Not Samsung
NEWS ANALYSIS: The rumor that Samsung was offering to buy BlackBerry has been shot down by both companies, but perhaps it's not Samsung that's doing the buying.There are a lot of reasons an acquisition of BlackBerry by Korean tech giant Samsung makes good sense, as my colleague Todd Weiss has pointed out. BlackBerry has the loyalty of business and government customers worldwide, for one thing. The company also has patents covering security, encryption, the Internet of things (IoT) and even wearable technology that could prove critical to Samsung as it strives for global dominance in the smartphone market. However, both companies have said on more than one occasion, including most recently on Jan. 15, that they're not getting hitched. These rumors and their subsequent denials have sent BlackBerry stock onto the valuation roller-coaster, likely to the delight of lucky stock speculators, but probably not to anyone else. But you'll notice that BlackBerry didn't deny that it was in some kind of merger talks; the company just denied that they were with Samsung. Could that mean that BlackBerry is talking to another company? At this point, unless you're hiding in the closet in CEO John Chen's office, it's impossible to know. But it might be possible to figure out if you look at some diverse facts about the business of the company and its possible suitors.
When you consider how BlackBerry does business, the list of suitors shrinks significantly. In fact, if it's not Samsung, the only real likely suitor is Apple. So is it possible that Apple is quietly talking to BlackBerry? Good question, but it might make sense.