Reports say Lenovo considering BlackBerry purchase
Lenovo is one of China's biggest and most profitable technology firms, and in recent years has taken steps toward increasing its share in Western markets. A rumor has emerged that Lenovo is acquiring BlackBerry in the near future. According to The Wall Street Journal, the troubled smartphone-maker could be purchased before the end of the year.
The Journal reported that a Canadian government source confirmed the exploratory measure, but added that a deal was far from certain. BlackBerry has spent the last 18 months seeking out a buyer, with several opportunities proving to be unsuccessful. However, this new offer is different in that it represents a big entry into the North American mobile market by a company that has previously been confined to China.
Jeff Bialos, a former U.S. government official, told the source that while BlackBerry might prefer a different buyer, it still may agree in the end to sell to Lenovo.
"All things being equal, [the company] would rather sell to a North American buyer," Bialos said. "You go to China for the premium."
A deal with Lenovo might be a way for the BlackBerry brand to receive some much-need revitalization. The BlackBerry 10 launched to poor fanfare, and the company has since struggled to make up traction against its competitors at Samsung and Apple. While there are arguments that the notion that a second-tier smartphone is a good product to maintain, dwindling sales and rising concerns over the business's long-term viability were what pushed it to seek a buyer in the first place.
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