Reuters has started this Cisco-or-Google-buying-Blackberry rumor in a sad attempt to make the Blackberry price go up.
Why? 1) Even if it were true, I’m sure (as the article states), companies such as Cisco (CSCO), Google (GOOG), or SAP would only be buying assets, such as specific patents. They wouldn’t want to keep the company intact. 2) This would be a bad move by Cisco.
Let me give more detail on why this would be a waste of time and money for Cisco. First, Cisco’s forays into consumer technologies, notable the Flip video camera and the purchase of Scientific-Atlanta, have been a disaster. I’d thought that Cisco had moved its focus away from consumer hardward and toward cloud software — which would be the smart thing to do — but I could be wrong. Maybe there is still a latent consumer tech fetish within Cisco.
Here’s another reason: As we described in these pages before, BlackBerry’s patent portfolio isn’t that strong, and is in fact getting weaker. As BlackBerry’s network disintegrates, the value of its network is declining. The company has even disclosed this in SEC filings. The person thinking of buying BlackBerry is a hedge-fund guy. I have reason to believe you could buy those patents at a later date – possibly for much cheaper.
Here’s another reason why specifically talking about Cisco buying the technology is silly. Blackberry’s strongest component is its proprietary e-mail messaging service. That was always innovative and unique. But why would Cisco buy a data messaging network? That would mean it would be competing with some of its own customers, the mobile network operators.
Now, it’s possible that Cisco would buy the technology and then offer to become an integrator of the service for its own customers, but that seems like a stretch.
BlackBerry does has some interesting components. As one heckler on Twitter pointed out, BlackBerry owns QNX, an innovate messaging OS that is used in some new automobile networking platforms. Cisco also uses QNX. So maybe it wants that
I have a much easier time understanding that Cisco or even Google might be after parts of BlackBerry to integrate some of the pieces. That makes more sense. But that’s not the same as “Buying Blackberry.”
Most of all, I doubt that anybody wants it badly enough to want to put in a higher bid.
(Disclosure: No positions in stocks mentioned.)