So much has been going with BlackBerry as of late. Since BlackBerry announced in September that it was putting together a committee to look into the possibility of a buyout option, names have been popping up from everywhere.
Today, there are more rumors flying around. More specifically, it looks like BlackBerry executives may have flown to California to meet with the folks at Facebook. If this rumor is true, then the execs may have flown out there to assess if there is any interest in a buyout bid.
This information comes to us from a report in the Wall Street Journal. It comes with the much heard phrase, “according to people familiar with the matter.” First, it remains unclear if this actually did take place. Second, it also remains unclear as to whether or not Facebook is at all interested in making an offer.
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As long as we are talking about speculation, there is likewise speculation that Facebook is building or wants to build its own smartphone. Since it has grown so dependent on smartphone makers such as Samsung and Apple to distribute the mobile Facebook app as well as collect user data, then this possibility does not sound too farfetched.
If there was a deal between Facebook and BlackBerry, that would allow for Facebook to cut out and not rely on partnerships. It could potentially sell a line of its own smartphones directly to its most ardent users.
Here is the thing though: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has, in no uncertain terms, denied wanting to build his own phone. He has been quoted in the past as saying that it’s the wrong strategy. Something that Facebook has done is to pursue more detailed partnerships for software called Facebook Home with manufacturers.
BlackBerry does have a lot to offer any company that would be interested in making a purchase. The company has somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.6 billion in cash and as a company is debt free. It addition, BlackBerry has quite a few patents that would be of interest to lots of companies.
Between BlackBerry’s patents for security network technology and smartphone components, among others, analysts estimate that they could be worth somewhere between $1 and $3 billion. Of course, at this point this is only speculation.
I am sure that in the weeks and months to follow, we will hear a lot more about BlackBerry buyout options from a variety of sources. I will do what I can to keep you all as up to date as possible. For now, it is still speculation that BlackBerry went to Facebook for anything that may remotely suggest a buyout. Potentially both companies could profit from such as occurrence, but only time will bear out the truth.