According to The Wall Street Journal Samsung is not interested in buying BlackBerry at this point in time. J.K. Shin, Samsung’s mobile phone business leader said that Samsung is talking to BlackBerry to extend their business relationship.
Samsung values the relationship with BlackBerry but has similar relationships with other enterprise security companies that allows each company to sell each other’s security products and services.
The discussion about a possible acquisition started some time ago as BlackBerry’s business started to decline. With decreasing device sales, BlackBerry has two interesting assets, its customer base and its patent portfolio. Samsung, as the largest mobile phone manufacturer, should not be too concerned about the BlackBerry user base, but could have potentially benefited from the patent portfolio. According to WSJ, Samsung has about 110,000 patents globally, including 34,000 in the US. BlackBerry on the other hand holds 44,000 patents.
The article continues to see some value in BlackBerry’s patents, but also points out that Samsung may see this differently, as it has cross-licensing agreements with partners in the industry including Google (I assume that contains the Motorola patents from the time Google actually owned Motorola Mobile). This gives Samsung some protection against any potential legal battles with Apple.
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As always in business, we have to add to the Samsung statement “until we change our mind”. – Norbert Hildebrand