A few days ago, the CFO of Lenovo said that the Chinese technology giants were considering a deal with Canadian mobile giants – Research in Motion, the owners of the Blackberry range of devices and services. For some reason, investors were excited about this and RIM’s stock price rose to a 52-week high.
But let’s examine that for a minute; will RIM really want to sell at this very strategic moment in their history? Probably not. They are on the verge of a major turning point and will rather see where it leads than sell. Although they are seriously trying to defend their market share which has already been reduced greatly by Apple and Samsung, they will try to hold on for a little longer. They are however considering new opportunities including partnership with android giants – HTC. So we may actually have HTC phones with BlackBerry OS, who knows?
Also, Lenovo’s deal also may not include the whole of RIM as they are already leaders in the Asian mobile sector but their offerings are not particularly known for their quality so they will probably just want to use the platform to upgrade their own products. RIM and BlackBerry’s products are also popular with the corporate sector which is another reason why Lenovo may be considering them.
There is another angle to this deal, the political angle. The United States government currently sees most Chinese companies (like Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo etc) as fronts for the Chinese government (which may not be entirely untrue) so if this deal goes through, RIM will lose whatever little hold it still had in the US totally because it runs secure communications for several government networks. The US government will definitely not leave its secure communications in the hands of a Chinese company. On a side note, BlackBerry is still the most secure mobile communication platform with the highest security clearance levels which is why most Presidents prefer it.
However, the possibility of any sales deal with RIM by any company, Chinese or otherwise, will determined by the success of the much-touted BlackBerry 10, which will be launching tomorrow – will it soar or will it crash?