Ah, BlackBerry. Once a King of Mobile alongside Nokia (who-kia?), the Canadian manufacturer has endured several stinky years, with Mike “Lizard Man” Lazaridis, Jim “Silly” Balsillie and Thorsten “57 Varieties” Heins all made to walk the plank.
Things are a little more positive under new(ish) CEO John Chen, but as rumours of a buyout continue to swirl, he says we shouldn’t expect a successful bid from any of the Chinese smartphone players.
That’s the story over on Bloomberg, with speech bubbles from a John Chen interview conducted – oddly – back in July this year.
Essentially, any BlackBerry buyout would require approval from western governments, and we all know how the US feels about China. Chen, somewhat ironically, was born in Hong Kong.
“We probably are unable to do that,” explains Chen, asked if BlackBerry might be sold to a Chinese bidder. “One of our biggest install bases is government in the so-called Five Eyes countries where governments share intelligence. I think there will be a lot of regulatory issues and concerns.”
Yep, despite BlackBerry’s consumer failings, it remains a key player in the enterprise market, and the Five Eyes – as John suggests – aren’t about to let that fall into Chinese hands.
Chinese manufacturer Lenovo had been repeatedly tipped to acquire BlackBerry (having already acquired US manufacturer Motorola from Google), but it sounds like we can lay that notion to rest, once and for all.
In other BlackBerry news, the Canadians continue their aggressive push of the unorthodox BlackBerry Passport, offering up to $600 to those willing to trade in an iPhone.