SAP Not Interested in Blackberry Sweepstakes (so who is?)

by Jeff Wiener on October 29, 2013

While I’ll freely acknowledge that my tech and telecom predictions are wrong more often than they’re right, as I recently read my predictions from three years ago that warned of Blackberry’s impending demise and of how it could have avoided such a result, I couldn’t believe just how right I was. At the time we first started warning of Blackberry’s downfall the once great tech innovator Palm was being auctioned off for scraps, with rampant speculation about who would ultimately acquire the fading mobile power. There was talk of Lenovo, Dell, and Acer as well as unlikely candidates like Nintendo, all part of some horrible waiting game that Palm was forced to play.

Now, three years later, the predictions and comparisons we made here between Palm and Blackberry have come to fruition, the once great Waterloo tech company now playing exactly the same waiting game to see who will win the Blackberry sweepstakes and, perhaps like HP’s experience with Palm, who will throw the entire project in the garbage sometime next year.

That said, much like the lead-up to Palm’s acquisition the only real news we have is who isn’t interested in Blackberry, and it looks like the first speculative suitor to go on record saying it doesn’t want to buy Blackberry is German business software group SAP, the company simply stating that “Blackberry doesn’t fit with our strategy.” So just who is interested in Blackberry? Let’s just say my predictive powers are working overtime on this one…

Over the past several weeks SAP’s name has been bandied about with the likes of Google, Samsung, and Cisco as companies potentially interested in purchasing Blackberry in whole or in part, but as SAP’s CFO recently told German magazine Euro am Sonntag, not only does Blackberry not fit with the company’s overall strategy, given that SAP already offers mobile solutions it doesn’t have any gaps that Blackberry could fill.

While I’ll admit that this news in and of itself is not particularly interesting, as one who is committed to detailing the downfall of Blackberry–from the speculation stage several years ago through the time when Blackberry is eventually purchased to the company’s unfortunate end when the entire Blackberry project is tossed into the garbage—its important to document those who were interested along the way…and those who clearly weren’t.

In fact, as I mentioned, the tech and telecom world went through this exact same sort of speculation phase with Palm, spreading rumours about potential candidates for purchasing the company only to see those companies one-by-one deny any interest, until HP, a company that had really said nothing, came in to claim the Palm prize.

So who will claim the Blackberry prize? While I’ll freely admit that the Fairfax consortium offer is the only bid currently under consideration, I wouldn’t be surprised if the dark horse suitor in this case was none other than Cisco. It was almost three years to day that a piece was posted here at outlining such a proposal, a laughable proposition at the time but one that had significant kernels of truth, with analysts at the time believing that if the price was right, Cisco had the resources to acquire Blackberry. Well Cisco, I would guess the price is about as right as it’s ever going to be…

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