No surprise, the latest news from Canada is that the once mighty smart phone manufacturer is exploring strategic “options.” Not really a surprise. Since the rise of Android as well as IOS, Blackberry has seen its market share take a nose dive. Add to the mix Microsoft who has resurrected its own mobile business and you have the perfect storm to seeing Blackberry taking a nose dive.
Another major shift that has taken over the smart phone market is the move away from email. Blackberry made hay with the best email platform, really the first provider who came out with email. For some time there were others in the space like Palm with their Treo (I had one before I migrated to the Blackberry). But Blackberry cornered the market by providing a secure and powerful email platform combined with handhelds geared specifically to email. Yet with the rise of SMS and social media (twitter, facebook, instagram…) we have more communication vehicles outside of plain old email. Combine this with our smart phones becoming our hub for banking, entertainment, gaming, travel, news etc etc and you have the perfect storm for a handheld designed for email but not for much more.
So now we have reached what feels like a final chapter in the history of Blackberry. It felt like the release of
the Blackberry 10 was a last gasp effort to try and right the ship. While it showed some early mild success, that path was short lived. So who would want to acquire the Pontiac of the smartphone?
I do not think any company will look to acquire Blackberry as a complete entity. Here is a list of the assets available – click here to read WSJ piece. I think that a private equity firm will swoop in and acquire the firm.
- Leverage all that cash to pay themselves a nice dividend as well as leverage the company to fund the acquisition.
- I could see BBM set free, allow them to try and compete with the other IM platforms. They already have a decent following and by all reports have a good system – we know it is secure!
- The Blackberry 10 platform is not going to be acquired by MSFT or Nokia or Samsung…but why not Oracle or…gasp SAP? Why? These two technology giants could leverage the mobile platform to tie into their supply chain solutions, ERP, CRM or various other applications. One thing that no one would question about Blackberry is their security. Seriously, when secret service agencies such as the Saudis cannot hack your system…you have a good security system.
- The hardware might be sold to the lowest bidder…may
be someone who is looking for ready made hardware to get into 3rd world markets. But that will not be a cash deluge by any means.
- The patents might be hidden assets that companies could be interested inpicking off.
Unfortunately for Blackberry the vultures are circling. It is a matter of who purchases the carcass and strips down the assets and sells the parts. Feels like what happens with stolen cars and chop shops.
How the mighty have fallen.