Chinese company Lenovo is rumoured to be continuing its spending spree, following its buyout of Motorola earlier this year for the princely sum of £1.8 billion, and it seems that ailing Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry could be next on the shopping list.
According to rumours from some fairly solid sources, the acquisition could be made as early as this week. That’s despite gossip that any attempts to buy the company last year were blocked by the Canadian government over security concerns – not only from internal sources, but from the likes of Microsoft and Apple, too.
BlackBerry hasn’t been hugely competitive in the smartphone market lately, but its most recent device, the BlackBerry Passport, has received a lot of attention in the press – most of it mixed. We personally love a lot of the hardware, but the square design can be awkward at best and is unsuited to most apps, which are in short supply (even with a certain Google Play fiddle, thanks to compatibility issues).
Still, a lot of ‘meh’ reviews don’t seem to have deterred BlackBerry’s infamously stiff-lipped fanbase. The company reportedly shifted 200,000 units of the new Passport during its first two days on sale, though subsequent orders have petered out. Just as well, as the Passport is in seriously short supply.
Contradictorily, BlackBerry’s CEO John S. Chen stated, “I’m glad to have inventory issues. It shows that people want the phone,” though he went on to claim, “We took a very conservative approach and didn’t order too many” – which some took to mean that the stock shortage is, in fact, due to the company not producing enough to satisfy whatever demand there was.
This could be an excellent time for Lenovo to splash the cash, with BlackBerry’s shares being worth roughly £6 per share at close of business last week. Symbiotically, the deal could be exactly the shot in the arm that BlackBerry needs to gets itself back to being a serious competitor, at the business end of the smartphone market, where many feel it still belongs.