Research In Motion (NASDAQ:
), which is set to debut the BlackBerry (NASDAQ:
) name and ticker next Monday, is having a rough week. The stock
is down again today, hovering between a three and four percent
decline after dropping more than eight percent this morning. Jan
Dawson, Ovum's Chief Telecoms Analyst,
that the company is on its way to becoming a niche player in the
smartphone industry. When asked if that would make BlackBerry a
greater takeover target, Dawson replied, "Potentially."
"The question becomes who would buy them and what for," he
said. "They have a base of 79 million users. It's unlikely that
anybody that would acquire them would be able to keep whatever
loyalty they may have to BlackBerry -- if they were re-brand it
and try to integrate it into whatever else it is they do."
Dawson said that in addition to BlackBerry's technology (which
he referred to as being "decent"), the company has a lot of
"I think in some ways that's actually the more promising
acquisition," he said, referring to the patents. "But you'd
probably want to wait for a while until they lose more of their
user base [and] until the share price comes down so you could
snap it up for cheaper and not have to worry about managing the
installed base and all the devices that are out there and keeping
all of that going."
In discussing the
that Lenovo is interested in acquiring BlackBerry, Dawson noted
that the company
on its story. "But some Chinese vendor might want to buy into
them," he said. "The problem is that they serve so many
government contracts here in the U.S. that any Chinese buyer is
likely to be blocked, even though it's a Canadian and not a U.S.
company. Essentially, all those government departments that are
running off them would immediately shut those off, which would
reduce the value significantly."
Could Lenovo -- which used the ThinkPad brand to become the
world's second-largest PC manufacturer -- change that?
"Probably not, to be honest," said Dawson. "They've done okay
in PCs but PCs is a dying market overall. It's been shrinking for
quite some time. It's just not clear to me that they can hold on
to a lot of the key customers. A lot of American companies and
government agencies use BlackBerry. They're not gonna be
comfortable with a Chinese company running the show. That's one
of the key challenges that Lenovo or any other Chinese company
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