Well, the days of Nokia and BlackBerry dominating the smartphone scene are well and truly behind us. Microsoft is picking up Nokia (nice work, Elop), while BlackBerry is reportedly actively courting buyers.
One of those is said to be Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, and it’s supposedly signed a non-disclosure agreement to look at the ailing Canadian manufacturer’s books. Brace yourselves for lots of red, boys.
That’s the story on The Wall Street Journal, describing the situation as “the latest sign of the voracious appetite of Chinese companies for foreign acquisitions”, with credit going to – yes – anonymous “people familiar with the matter”.
Lenovo is a relative latecomer to the smartphone game, and while it tends to stick to China, acquiring BlackBerry would give it an immediate presence in the west.
Interestingly, while it’s probably fair to say your average Joe o’er here is blissfully unaware of Lenovo smartphones (different story for laptops, obviously), the Chinese manufacturer’s global smartphone share in Q2 was 4.7%, compared to 2.7% for BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry Fairfax deal announced in September is looking increasingly unlikely, with a breakup now seeming more plausible. The Journal does say, however, that Lenovo is considering "a bid for all of BlackBerry", which would be slightly less depressing.
Of course, any potential deal would inevitably raise the eyebrows of the United States Defense Department, having issued an estimated 470,000 BlackBerry devices to employees.