Microsoft Rumored to be Considering BlackBerry Purchase

Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices business seemingly came out of nowhere given all the recent turmoil surrounding the Redmond company. It's somewhat aligned with another shocker announced by CEO Steve Ballmer who recently said he will be "retiring" early within the next twelve months. The industry was also rather shocked at the $900 million hit the company took in its Q4 2013 earnings for unsold Surface RT tablets.  

Now here's another shocker: Microsoft may still be eying a BlackBerry Limited acquisition. Given recent events surrounding the Redmond company, anything is possible at this point. Sources told Bloomberg that Microsoft is keeping an eye on the Canadian device manufacturer due to its strong presence in the enterprise market. Still, the acquisition of another OS would be rather strange given Microsoft's current push to make Windows Phone more enterprise-friendly. It would also seemingly throw a wrench into Microsoft's scheme to offer a unified platform experience.

But, again, anything is possible at this point.

Sources told Bloomberg that the Microsoft-Nokia deal is more of a sprint than a marathon, that talks between the two began back in February. Both parties reportedly agreed that the current two-year-old smartphone collaboration just wasn't working as expected. The two finally settled on a deal in July, with Microsoft shelling out 5.44 billion euro ($7.2 billion) for Nokia's Devices & Services business, to license Nokia's patents, and use Nokia's mapping services.

"Microsoft realized that it wouldn’t be possible to succeed without controlling the entire value chain," said Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at research firm IDC in London. “Nokia has realized that it needed a stronger ally with the financial muscle to continue driving its Lumia smartphones."

Microsoft has reportedly been interested in BlackBerry for some time, yet Ballmer supposedly decided not to make a bid for the Canadian company back in 2011 due to the transaction not being a "worthy investment". Now with Nokia's device business under Redmond's control, BlackBerry has one less possible lifeline. Even more, Microsoft is now better positioned to compete with BlackBerry as the #3 smartphone platform.

Despite launching a new operating system and several new phones, the once dominant BlackBerry said last month that it had established a committee to review its strategic options, including a possible sale. That's a dramatic change given BlackBerry, formerly RIM, controlled 51 percent of the smartphone market in North America just four years ago. Now the company controls a mere 3.4 percent thanks to the slow response to Apple's iPhone and the army of Android-based devices.

BlackBerry said the new Special Committee will explore alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.  These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.

  • chicofehr
    If they do, I hope they still make them with keyboards. Its the main reason I still use blackberry.
  • Stimpack
    I hope they don't pay much.
  • therealduckofdeath
    Please, have some dignity Microsoft. When did you turn into bottom feeders?
    BB is a dead business, just like Palm was when HP bought them. A waste of money.
  • microsoft buying dying companies,mean while their sales is also low, microsoft is on they down :)
  • shikamaru31789
    Buying Blackberry would give Microsoft 6.6% Smartphone marketshare between Windows Phone and Blackberry. Assuming they could manage to get both Windows Phone and Blackberry to grow moving forward, they could become a close 3rd behind Google and Apple. So I can see why they'd want to buy it.
  • Microsoft are buying these companies for the patents not because their sales are low, the patents are worth more to them than the sales.
  • gamerk316
    No longer under the specter of Antitrust regulation, the old MSFT is coming back!
  • Grandmastersexsay
    11482442 said:
    11481965 said:
    I hope they don't pay much.

    The patents alone are worth billions because unlike Android, BB OS is a secure operating system.

    In 2007 those patents may have been worth billions, but today? There are better ways to do everything those patents describe. Name just one that Google, Apple, Samsung, ect. even want.

    Microsoft would only potentially want BlackBerry for their name recognition. I'm assuming they can get it rather cheap.
    Considering most Blackberry use is on the business side, it sort of makes sense.

    I know lots of corporate types who are still on Blackberry and refuse to give it up.

    Imagine a Blackberry phone with Nokia quality and Microsoft platform integration.
  • coupe
    I thought they should do this. I mean BB is tied almost directly with Exchange. This would be a great purchase for MS.