“Not much” will be my short answer. The recently announced purchase of Nokia’s devices & services business by Microsoft has ruffled some feathers in the global mobile software & hardware market. While this deal has now led to three major companies with both mobile hardware and software capabilities, one wonders what will happen to the fate of Blackberry. However, the shares of blackberry did rise on account of the microsoft-nokia deal.
Does Blackberry Have A Potential Suitor Now
This is not to say that Microsoft could have potentially bought Blackberry but the Canadian company has made it clear that it is looking for “strategic alternatives” of which acquisition can definitely be one.
However, with Microsoft-Nokia deal it is evident that Microsoft will become the No.3 player in the phone segment behind Apple and Samsung. With Microsoft’s financial muscle, it has become virtually impossible for Blackberry to compete for the number 3 spot.
Any potential suitor interested in reviving Blackberry in its current form will be cognizant of the fact and this could deter them for courting Blackberry as a whole.
Software & Patent Portfolio Still Valuable
Blackberry’s losing value of the hardware segment notwithstanding, the company’s patent portfolio does have its merits especially with its encryption and security patents. The total value of Blackberry’s patents is estimated at $5 Bn which is significantly higher than the $2 Bn odd Microsoft paid for Nokia’s patents
Blackberry Surviving As A Niche Player
Is there a silver lining for Blackberry in all this? Maybe not and even if you look at the company’s recent decision to take BBM cross-platform on Android & iOS, it is becoming clear that operating as a niche player might be the only hope Blackberry has in order to survive on its own.
A limited but use-case specific phone manufacturer
While there might not be lot of hope of reviving the hardware segment, there is hope in taking a niche approach to developing phones with specific use cases and features suitable for a targeted audience. One example being identifying a specific need in the enterprise telecommunication needs
No matter what happens, Blackberry’s eventual fate could now be decided much sooner now that the dynamics in the phone market have changed.
What are your thoughts on Blackberry’s fate now that Microsoft has acquired Nokia’s devices & services business?