Rumors have been circulating recently that companies are lining up to acquire Blackberry. The shortlist includes Microsoft, Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo for now — last month, Samsung was reportedly also on the list but backed out after getting a $7.5 billion asking price.
BlackBerry Ltd has announced that it will be undertaking job cuts at facilities around the world as it consolidates software, hardware and applications business units. The move is part of an effort to take advantage of growth opportunities and try to regain profitability for all of its business segments. Read more
Yesterday, BlackBerry updated its official BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) application in the Play Store to bring support for “Protected” — a new ” enterprise-grade secure instant messaging service.”
So, what exactly is BBM Protected and how does it work?
Back in January at CES, BlackBerry announced that BBM would get support for Android Wear. Now it’s Mobile World Congress and they are announcing that it’s officially available. You can now read BBM messages in their entirety, respond to them via Google Now or with a pre-defined message, and accept BBM invites all from your Android Wear smartwatch.
Apple trumped all other smartphone manufacturers last quarter based on consumers activating a device. The usual Android foes were all far behind Apple with Samsung leading the way. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) conducted a survey with five hundred subjects in the United States and aimed to find which phone brands were most popular among activations. The devices, both old and new, were activated between October and December of last year.
Last week, a report was published that stated Samsung made an offer to purchase BlackBerry. The obvious reason for Samsung to go after BlackBerry would be for patents with the intent to bolster enterprise and security platform Knox. Both companies, however, moved very quickly to deny the validity of the report. Now, the leader of the mobile division at Samsung has gotten in front of the rumors to state that the company does not intend to purchase BlackBerry.
In the surprise news of the day, Samsung recently made an offer to buy BlackBerry for $7.5 billion. Reuters is reporting that Samsung set the initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which translates to a premiumof 38 percent to 60 percent over the current trading price.
So what would Samsung want with such a failing company? According to Reuters, it’s all about the patents. BlackBerry owns roughly 44,000 patents, worth approximately $1.43 billion in net book value. However, a lot of analysts think they are worth much more. Unfortunately BlackBerry isn’t interested in selling only the patents, so Samsung would need to buy the whole company in order to obtain them.
In another sign of the continuing end of hostilities between the world’s smartphone manufacturers, Rockstar Consortium, Inc. has announced the sale of 4,000 patents to RPX Corp. The portfolio was originally obtained by Rockstar in a bidding war that took place during 2011 between Rockstar and Google to obtain the intellectual property from Nortel Networks. Rockstar is a consortium made up of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. RPX licenses patents to companies that join their syndicate, including Google and Cisco Systems. Read more
Samsung’s Knox security solution is getting some pretty massive improvements today, which is great news for government and enterprise customers looking at Samsung devices. BlackBerry has announced that they are teaming up with Samsung to integrate BB’s end-to-end encryption into the existing Knox software suite. There are also a handful of other new features to better deal with Android’s security, too, so both companies are taking this pretty seriously. Read more
Blackberry has released an update to its popular messaging app, bringing new features to improve your user experience. With the update comes attachment improvements, upgrade notifications, and call rating. Read more