Mobile Devices

March 12, 2013

BlackBerry Sees 14-Percent Share Increase from Acquisition Speculation, Z10 AT&T Launch

BlackBerry, formerly Research In Motion, has been having a rough time for the past few years ever since the release of the iPhone shifted the emerging smartphone away from the enterprise focus toward a more consumer-focused approach. However, the company has been turning headlines around since the launch of its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Z10.

In fact, BlackBerry shares rose 14 percent on Monday following the announcement that AT&T will start selling the Z10 in the U.S. as of March 22, as well as speculation of a takeover by Lenovo Group.

The acquisition speculation arose from a comment from Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, who cited BlackBerry as a possibility for Lenovo's external growth.

"As for BlackBerry, the file could eventually make sense, but I must first analyze the market and understand the exact weight of this company," said Yuanqing when asked if Lenovo would ever scoop up the Canadian smartphone manufacturer.

However, analysts don't believe a takeover is really in the cards for BlackBerry from Lenovo or anyone else, while a spokesman for Lenovo in Canada made sure to point out that Yuanquing's statement isn't an indication of "activity or strategic direction." All of this is similar to a comment made by another Lenovo executive in January, who also mentioned BlackBerry when speaking of Lenovo's mergers and acquisition strategy.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Z10 — which runs the latest version of the BlackBerry OS, BB10, and doesn't feature a keyboard like most BlackBerry phones — in the U.S. is receiving a cold reception from a number of carriers toward the device. The Z10's launch has already been delayed behind the U.K. and Canada launches of the smartphone due to a lengthy carrier testing phase.

AT&T will sell BlackBerry's latest and greatest for $200 on a two-year contract, while T-Mobile USA said recently that it will make the Z10 available to its business customers in the U.S. Verizon has remained quite thus far on all things BB10.

Sprint, however, outright spurned the Z10, saying it will not carry the device at all, but has embraced the upcoming BlackBerry Q10, which will be the first device to sport the BlackBerry keyboard sought after by the remaining BlackBerry faithful.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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