A few weeks ago Microsoft announced that they had acquired the Nokia hardware division and some other parts of the Nokia business. It sounded like it was Microsoft who was something akin of a visionary move etc. The rumor mill had mentioned that Microsoft was looking at building their own cellphone devices and the Nokia acquisition was to enable them to become like Apple and Samsung in owning the entire cellphone creation cycle.
Then news broke that Nokia in actual fact was working on potentially building an Android device. The implications are potentially massive as Nokia has been the biggest partner that used Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Think about it – if Nokia did create an Android based device it would have left no real partner for Microsoft to showcase their software to their users. This news is putting a completely different angle on the Nokia acquisition as it now seems that it was a defensive move by Microsoft.
A few questions remain unanswered. Does Microsoft now ensure that Nokia only makes Windows based devices? Will the Nokia brand be around for the next 5 years? What is the endgame for Microsoft with Nokia? Steve Ballmers replacement has some serious questions to answer regarding his mobile strategy. Does Microsoft potentially consider buying BlackBerry’s enterprise business to ensure that they own the entire enterprise mobile solution? BlackBerry is also now being seen as a potential company that will be split into pieces..
The rumor mill is in full steam as SAP, Google and Cisco have supposedly shown interest in acquiring parts of BlackBerry. This is to be seen as an alternative to going private as BlackBerry is trying to draw some of its last breathe.
What this clearly indicates is that the mobile device division is clearly the cash hungry business that is negatively affecting BlackBerry’s future. This seems to be a recurring pattern as Motorola, Nokia and Palm all had this same pain point prior to being acquired. Is it a case of business models not being clearly understood and planned or is it the hidden truth for mobile phone manufacturers?
It seems that SAP, Google and Cisco are particularly interested in BlackBerry’s patents to augment their own offering of patents. The fact that BlackBerry had to write off over a billion dollars on the Z10 one has to wonder whether BlackBerry will be around in 2014? Secondly, is the BBM cross platform functionality that was live for all of 15 minutes for Android and iOS also potentially a money spinner for BlackBerry?
At the moment there are many questions about BlackBerry and their devices. The most pressing one is – Who ultimately acquires them? LG, Samsung, SAP or Intel… So between Nokia and BlackBerry there are potentially a lot of changes coming. Did Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia start the end of the road for BlackBerry?