BlackBerry buyout rumors have been swirling for years, and the latest one was that Microsoft would pay $7 billion to acquire the Canadian company. There is a good chance that sooner or later, the Canadian company will be acquired, but the big question is who will acquire BlackBerry?
BlackBerry smartphone sales not the attraction
A number of names have been suggested as a buyer for BlackBerry including Apple, Huawei, ZTE, Microsoft, Lenovo, but an analytical report released in Sina’s Chuangshiji news column says Microsoft and Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi will benefit most from acquiring BlackBerry.
BlackBerry sold 8.5 million smartphones in 2014, and this year the company is expected to sell only 5 million units. Such dismal numbers may mean little to potential buyers as they already have much higher sales volume. Smartphone makers such as Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi and ZTE are all targeting between 60 million to 100 million handsets in 2015. Microsoft’s quarterly smartphone shipments range from few million units to around 10 million units.
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Security, patents, QNX the major attraction for buyers
However, BlackBerry’s strong patent portfolio is something that potential buyers will be eying. Potential buyers including Samsung, Huawei, ZTE and Microsoft already control a range of patents, and recently Lenovo also strengthened its patent profile by acquiring Motorola Mobility. So, only Xiaomi has a relatively weak patent portfolio, which could be an impediment in the company’s global expansion ambitions. But acquiring BlackBerry could help Xiaomi to better its patent profile along with channeling its smartphone sales though the Canadian firm’s sales network.
Apart from it’s patent portfolio, BlackBerry is also popular for offering smartphone security. With growing privacy issues, smartphone security is becoming immensely important for corporate as well as general users. Therefore, Microsoft and Xiaomi would get a leg up with the acquisition of BlackBerry, helping them to widen their corporate user base along with making their devices more secure.
Finally, BlackBerry holds a dominant position in the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) sector, according to the report. The Canadian firm’s QNX platform commands a 50% market share, with many big names as clients including Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, Porsche, Toyota and FAW. Either Microsoft and Xiaomi could leverage QNX to claim a leadership role in the IoV market.