Mobile

Who’s crazy enough to buy BlackBerry? Lenovo’s CEO ain’t ruling it out

Perhaps because the marriage between the ThinkPad and BlackBerry seems so natural, another Lenovo executive is hinting that the company would be open to purchasing the beleaguered smartphone company.

Lenovo chief executive Yang Yuanqing told the French financial paper Les Echos that a BlackBerry deal “could possibly make sense, but first I need to analyze the market and understand what exactly the importance of this company is,” as reported and translated by Bloomberg.

The statement comes after Lenovo chief financial officer Wong Wai Ming told Bloomberg in January that the company was looking at a variety of opportunities to expand its mobile presence, including BlackBerry. At the time, BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins seemed baffled by Ming’s statement.

BlackBerry’s stock price jumped 14 percent this afternoon following the Lenovo chatter, closing at $14.90.

BlackBerry is betting the entire company on the success of its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, but my review of the company’s flagship Z10 phone didn’t bode well for BlackBerry’s future. Heins hasn’t ruled out selling the company, but he’s also discussed other options, like potentially licensing BlackBerry’s software to others.

A BlackBerry purchase would make little sense for most, but given that Lenovo currently holds the popular ThinkPad business PC brand, it could potentially capitalize on having two enterprise-friendly businesses. Lenovo has released Android smartphones of its own, but it has mostly catered to China and other Asian countries. Buying BlackBerry would give Lenovo the ticket to potentially make a huge splash in the global smartphone market (assuming it can fix the many problems BlackBerry is currently facing).


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