Blackberry (RIM) for Sale. Would Apple buy it?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by addictive, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. addictive macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    I'm surprised there hasn't been a post on this idea considering yesterdays news. "(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said on Monday that it was considering strategic alternatives, including a possible sale".

    This is going to be a long post, please read through it and then discuss it with comments afterwards. I'd love to hear other people's views on this topic.

    Its been clear for the past couple of years that Blackberry aka RIM is failing fast and does not have many options left. Their big reboot with two new flagship phones was not well received and sales have been poor.

    The options which Blackberry have are to take the company private or to be sold to another technology company.

    I know this could be an unpopular idea but i'm sure this proposal has been discussed in the executive suites at Apple's HQ. Could Apple purchase Blackberry. five years ago everyone would say its not possible but now it could definitely happen and for an exceedingly cheap price compared to the value it would have cost in previous years.

    Last year Andrew Ross Sorkin at the NYTimes wrote a fun article about companies which could be on Apple's shopping list to own. Here it is:
    ARS mentions Path, Twitter, Square, Nuance and Sprint (Japan's Softbank got there first). Yet the acquisition of Blackberry intrigues me.

    "Such a deal would instantly put Apple into the enterprise market, giving it access to corporate and government customers that require RIM’s highly secure servers. Apple could build access into RIM’s network directly into future iPhones and maybe even create an iPhone with BlackBerry’s famous keyboard, which for many of us would create the ultimate smartphone".

    My feelings are the same about this. It puts Apple further into the enter enterprise market where it can push further Apple and iOS products on corporate and government customers.

    It would allow Apple to diversify its iphone offering and this to me is going to be the biggest shake up in the iPhone in years. The iphone 5C is going to address the cheaper end of the market especially in the developing world and third world countries where Apple wants more market share. The 2014 iphone will likely be a full redesign and a larger screen/display. But by acquiring Blackberry this could allow Apple to have more than one iPhone model - and include one with a keyboard. Many people think this would be a step back but its not if you continue to offer the touch screen models. In short unless Apple wants to continue losing marketshare it needs to diversify its iphone offerings. Think of the benefits over the next few years if Apple could release two iphones a year. One in September the usual upgraded touch screen model. Then another one six months later in March a touchscreen phone with a keyboard and the same iOS. Its sounds unusual but I think this would boost Apple's revenues by being able to sell more phones.

    Another reason Apple could buy Blackberry is patents. As we've seen the past year with its court battle with Samsung patents are increasingly important.

    In addition the QNX software owned by Blackberry used as an in-dashboard operating system, and already in 20 million cars, like Chryslers and Porsches is very attractive for Apple to leverage and become the dominant player for "In-Vehicle Entertainment" - if you can easily blend the QNX software and iOS software then Apple can be the leader in a new field.

    It does not seem to be reported that Apple is interested in acquiring Blackberry and I doubt if Steve Jobs was alive it would happen but with a more conventionally corporate minded Tim Cook in charge at Apple I think this might be one company which Apple decides to open up their huge cash vaults and acquire. Not for the headline grabbing handset ideas but more the long term plays of taking over a rival and removing their market share while gaining their intellectual property, patents and future business plans. The other option is that Blackberry takes itself private but i can't see the long term value for investors choosing that option. Of course another choice would be for Microsoft or Google to purchase Blackberry. HP already bought Palm (where did it go?) so its got to be unlikely they would do such a similar move again. The Canadian government has already said it would probably step in and decline an offer from a Chinese tech firm if they wanted to acquire it on national security grounds.

    Please discuss.
  2. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I think those are the most possible reasons for Apple; buy into more patents and new area for growth.
    Not sure if the enterprise business would be from interest; it would be different from what Apple setup with iCloud etc. Plus Apple is already in enterprises (like the company I am working for with 24000 iPad and lots iPhones). Here a stable MS Exchange integration is more important.
  3. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    I think governments would try to block this due to anti-trust laws, i.e. reducing competition by buying it out
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I don't think this is compatible with Apple's business model
    Pundits and bloggers love to speculate about expanded market share and enterprise penetration for Apple

    Apple's focus appears to be, in my opinion, on margin, quality, and seamless integration and experience

    I think it would require too many compromises on Apple's part
    And I don't think they need it personally
  5. spykthomas macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2012
    I can't imagine Apple bringing out an iPhone with a physical keyboard, even if they bought RIM.
    Neither would they redesign their server/cloud offerings to fit into any acquired systems. They would rather bend that to fit their existing plan.

    We're seeing it with the new Mac Pro, Apple would, and are, trying to shape the needs of the professional markets to suit what they want to make. Particularly with their mobile devices, which rely on work arounds, or third party apps, to integrate into Active Directory (for example).
  6. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I can see maybe Nokia or Google buying RIM. Not Apple.
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Yes they would. The IP and patents in RIM is worth it for Apple. Plus, they'll most likely get better defense patents against Google or Samsung.

    Not to mention, Apple will surely use RIM's infrastructure for BBM to beef up iMessage.
  8. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    They'll likely be part of a consortium made up of one or more of Google, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. that gobbles up the patents and then they'll break down their enterprise structure into blocks that can be absorbed. There won't be a single buyer.

    But hey, maybe HP wants to make another big purchase and completely decimate and gut the product line and OS again.
  9. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    And by the same token, if they wanted to bring out an iPhone with a physical keyboard they wouldn't need to buy RIM in order to do it. They made a deliberate choice not to with the iPhone and the entire industry followed them.
  10. maflynn, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013

    maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Given the small (and shrinking marketshare) and more companies jumping in to the mobile market, I really don't think the government will have an issue.

    I also don't think there's much synergy or reason to buy it - other then for the patents. I think Blackberry did a good job with BB10 but as many people postulated, too little too late.

    I don't see Apple getting any value for their money on purchasing Blackberry.
  11. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    I agree with both Matflyn and chrmjenkins. RIM's future is that it will likely be piece-mentally sold out if the Canadian government gets in the way with it being sold wholesale. Piecementally makes the most sense anyhow over a long term approach. And it wouldn't be one party but many

    If anything is valuable in BB, it's their patents and that would be what Apple might be interested in, but that assumes that they have a huge value and I don't know that is the case given how long they have been on the market.
  12. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    It would be neat if Apple buys BlackBerry and increases its presence in Waterloo.

    But yeah. :)
  13. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    If Apple wanted to increase it's presence in Waterloo (not IA) they could do it a lot cheaper than buying RIM...

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