1. sonbuster's Avatar
    There has been a lot of talk about the possibility of licensing BB10 OS on other phone manufacturers. Some questions that arise are to whom and when this will happen. I’ve written about this back in February speculating that perhaps BlackBerry could license BB10 to Sony for the Japanese market. Read more about it here sonbuster's Instablog - Seeking Alpha

    Moving on, licensing is a big deal and still on the table. Even CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, himself has mentioned multiple times that licensing is an option.
    On August 2nd, 2012 the Telegraph publisher notes:
    Heins is keenly aware that he must get cheaper devices into the mainstream. "We don't have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it. There's different options we could do that we're currently investigating."
    'BlackBerry is not in a trough' - RIM CEO Thorsten Heins interview - Telegraph

    Now as recently as February 14th, 2013 we get more information about their licensing game plan where Heins is quoted saying:
    “We are looking into licensing [for lower-cost devices],” BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins told Fairfax Media on Thursday during an international media briefing at the company’s headquarters in Waterloo, Canada.”
    This would include “a mid-tier device or, for certain markets, even an entry-level device”.
    BlackBerry plans to license BlackBerry 10 to entry-level devices | RapidBerry

    So now we have an idea of who they would like to license to – to smartphone manufactures that can take care of the mid to low-end spectrum. Still, it doesn't give any specific details of potential candidates.

    However, I would like to shed to light some more speculation. I believe Lenovo is still a prime candidate. We've heard this many times before. As early as January 24th 2013, CFO Wong Wai Ming was quoted in an interview at the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Davos Switzerland - “We are looking at all opportunities -- RIM and many other… We’ll have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”
    Lenovo Says RIM Bid Among Options to Boost Mobile Unit - Bloomberg

    Moreover, in early March, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing told a French financial newspaper in an interview that was published March 11 that a deal for BlackBerry “could possibly make sense,” though he would first have to assess the market and BlackBerry’s standing in it.
    Lenovo CEO Reignites Speculation About BlackBerry Deal

    In my opinion, I don’t think an acquisition of BlackBerry by Lenovo is possible to begin with. There’s the problem as to whether Lenovo could afford it. A Seekingalpha contributor writes:
    “Lenovo has a mere $4.48B in cash and cash equivalents and a market capitalization of only $11B; so it would be very tough for Lenovo to actually acquire BlackBerry at any sort of premium without taking on an inordinate amount of risk, debt, and potentially massive write-downs if things don't go well.”
    BlackBerry: Lenovo Can't Afford It, Buying Opportunity Coming - Seeking Alpha

    So what’s next for BlackBerry and Lenovo? Lenovo might not be able to buy BlackBerry, but they sure are interested in the company. With Android, Lenovo is just another fish in a sea competing against every other Android handset maker. BB10 OS would surely differentiate them from the rest. What’s in it for BlackBerry? BlackBerry would no doubt get to enjoy licensing fees, but more importantly it would give BlackBerry entry into 2 of the world’s biggest markets – China and…Japan.

    Japan? How so? I’m glad you asked. Very recently as of March 29th 2013, there is news that Japan’s NEC is in talks to sell its mobile unit to Lenovo.
    Japan's NEC in talks to sell mobile phone unit to Lenovo: source | Reuters

    Some might think of this as bad news for BlackBerry, because this could take BlackBerry out of the equation and no longer relevant. Not so. From an ‘outside-the-box’ perspective, this couldn’t have been more perfect for BlackBerry and a Lenovo licensing opportunity.

    I think Lenovo will have NEC’s mobile division produce phones in the mid to low end bracket. Furthermore, Lenovo will now have a new major market to cater to: Japan. Both criteria are fitting in BlackBerry’s licensing road path. For now we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out. A licensing deal of this magnitude makes complete sense for all parties involved.

    On a smaller note, but one with much much larger impact to BlackBerry is that once BlackBerry enters into the Chinese and Japanese, watch for subscriptions, revenue and profits from the services side to grow via BES10.
    Last edited by sonbuster; 03-31-13 at 08:32 AM.
    03-30-13 05:44 PM
  2. DjDante's Avatar
    On August 2nd 2013?

    Posted via CB10
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-30-13 06:11 PM
  3. sonbuster's Avatar
    thanks updated. finally got used to "2013"
    03-30-13 06:21 PM
  4. world traveler and former ceo's Avatar
    I love the potential for Blackberry to Li sense bb10 to Lenovo for China and Japan markets. A great fit with huge upside.

    Posted via CB10
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-30-13 09:34 PM
  5. Dapper37's Avatar
    Thanks for the work here. This idea makes so much sense. I'd love to see it happen.
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-30-13 11:25 PM
  6. mathking606's Avatar
    I could see this happen and I am really hoping Thor has some partnership like this in the works right now so that we can see entry level devices at the very latest by the year end.
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-31-13 01:25 AM
  7. jrlong's Avatar
    Awesome hypothesis -- very well supported and it REALLY makes sense. Big rumors like the Lenova-BBRY deal always seem to be true in some form. Lenova's cash position definitely makes buying BlackBerry impossible, and it really seems that BBRY has no interest in selling just their hardware platform. What you're suggesting does make perfect sense. Well done!
    sonbuster and bobert65 like this.
    03-31-13 01:32 AM
  8. jrlong's Avatar
    I just read your post again.
    This is frigging brilliant.
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-31-13 01:35 AM
  9. gordo51's Avatar
    This really does seem like it could be a win-win, especially for BlackBerry. The Japanese love technology. They would probably snap up higher end phones and of course China is a huge and growing market. Hope this happens.

    Posted via CB10
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-31-13 02:29 PM
  10. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Was thinking the same thing...makes sence on so many levels, lets hope it happens. Thanks for sharing.
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-31-13 03:06 PM
  11. hurds's Avatar
    I wonder if BB has plans in place where some of the 6 devices they release this year are licensed ones.
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-31-13 03:26 PM
  12. lnichols's Avatar
    Lenovo buying BlackBerry would be the end of the US government business for BlackBerry!

    Posted via CB10
    03-31-13 06:23 PM
  13. world traveler and former ceo's Avatar
    Lenovo buying BlackBerry would be the end of the US government business for BlackBerry!

    Posted via CB10
    no one is saying that ... liscencing the software... Blackberry ownership does not change ...
    sonbuster likes this.
    03-31-13 06:32 PM

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