BlackBerry Could Be Sold Off in PiecesBy: Sean Patterson - August 14, 2013
Earlier this week, BlackBerry announced that the company was exploring “strategic alternatives.” Though the company stated it will be exploring possible joint ventures or strategic partnerships, it also expressed a willingness to take offers for the business itself. The announcement confirmed what analysts and industry watchers had known for some time – that BlackBerry’s decision to double-down on high-end BlackBerry 10 smartphones in an effort to compete with Apple and Samsung was a poor one.
While speculation runs rampant about who might possibly want to buy BlackBerry, another possibility has presented itself. DigiTimes today is reporting that BlackBerry could end up being sold piecemeal. According to the reports unnamed “sources at Taiwan handset makers,” that possibility is actually higher than the company being sold as a whole.
Acquiring BlackBerry might be a losing proposition for any entity that might buy it. The BlackBerry 10 platform has proved to be a failure, and the company’s subscriber numbers are falling rapidly. Keeping the BlackBerry handset business alive would cost billions.
In contrast, BlackBerry undoubtedly has a stockpile of high-value patents, particularly when it comes to mobile enterprise. DigiTimes mentions Samsung and Amazon as possible buyers for BlackBerry patents, though Apple, Google, and Microsoft could also find value in them. In addition to its patents, BlackBerry’s enterprise services division, along with BlackBerry Messenger, could prove valuable to companies serving the business sector. IBM and Cisco were mentioned in the report as parties that might be interested in such services.