"If it also bought BlackBerry, Lenovo would control two respected brands"
Well, one respected brand. And BlackBerry.
Lenovo may be close to a deal to acquire Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry – for real, this time – according to multiple reports. Citing anonymous sources, Canadian broadcaster CBC claimed on Monday that the Chinese equipment maker is planning to offer to snap up ailing BlackBerry at around $15 per share. The Toronto Sun …
Only folks I know who buy Blackberries these days for anything other than making delicious, delicious preserves are the US Feds. If Lenovo - Chinese company - buys Blackberry, then the MIB types will likely get very upset about this, being as they'd assume the Chinese would now have backdoors into all those lovely phones that the US taxpayers had paid so much money to get. But on the bright side, all the middle manager types who've been whinging to get an iPhone instead will find their requests suddenly not falling on deaf ears...
Hmm, well it's not just US Feds buying Blackberry. But for sure a lot of BlackBerry's customers buy them because in part they trust the company. Being owned by Lenovo would be a completely different kettle of fish.
There are niche government BlackBerry customers who like the security they get from the ecosystem (it's just not the same as Android, iOS or WinPhone). In effect these niche (and quite important) users have had a cheap ride; BlackBerry's wider market has subsidised the company's existence. With that larger market being much reduced (but growing, I hope) those niche users risk discovering the true cost of their security requirements. Many of them would have no where else to go if BlackBerry disappeared, or became Lenovo-ised.
Your points about the real security freaks having been subsidised by other BB users is correct, but I'd have thought that with the limitless, oversight-free budget of the MIB it would be no particular problem (other than time) to fork Android and create their own locked down flavour. Or pay Apple handsomely to do something similar.
The interesting thing might be that Lenovo want Blackberry's secur-ish infrastructure and IP not to compromise the MIB, but to deploy in China in order to defend against foreign snooping by the MIB. In theory they too could have inspected and forked Android, but that's still Google-owned. As soon as they get a bit of cash, emerging nations seem to have a need to go and buy foreign owned assets, even when there's no real reason to. Like Harrods.
This has already happened. Boeing and Thales have both produced forked-Android phones for security conscious customers. And there is the Blackphone, as well. Perhaps the Reg could arrange a security phone round up to let us all know which one is best if one was to find them self recruited by MI6 or the CIA. Or even on the run from MI6 or the CIA.
... because Nokia's phones with proper keyboard have gone from wonderful (the E71) to a bug-ridden pile of s**t (the E6-00). And blackberries are a fair second-best in terms of a comfortable fit in the pocket and the hand without it feeling like moving around in plate-armour!
Will Lenovo make a decent product combining portability, usability, battery life, and a proper keyboard? If so, bring it on!
I've had BBs for years, but if Lenovo do to them what they've done to the ThinkPad range I'll ditch them. My £2.5k W540 build quality is nowhere near as good as my old bulletproof T420 - feels like it's made of thin cheap cardboard and the additional CD-HDD caddy is shockingly poor flimsy plastic afair that allows the HDD to flap around and I had to fix it myself (£7 bought me a solid aluminium one from the US on fleabay). I won't now buy another one. My Z10 is great and my wife loves her BB Bold as well. I hope Lenovo keep their mits off it.
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