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BlackBerry’s troubles in the mobile phone space have been no secret in the past few years. Buyers have overwhelmingly spent their cash on iOS and Android-powered devices, leaving the once-dominant Canadian smartphone manufacturer scrambling to recover. The company is entertaining offers for sale now, but none may be as interesting as those that will reportedly come from rivals like Google, LG and Samsung.

blackberryAll three of these companies aren’t necessarily in need of BlackBerry’s manufacturing infrastructure. Google owns Motorola, after all, a heavyweight manufacturer in its own right. LG is a pretty serious contender in the smartphone space, and what more can be said about Samsung, the largest Android phone maker on the planet?

For these companies, it may not be about the hardware so much as the software — particularly, patents. Android phone manufacturers have been under the crosshairs of many companies and one way to fend off litigation is with a healthy patent portfolio.

It’s conceivable that, should Samsung move to the Tizen OS, it could find itself challenged just as Android has been, which means patents will still be a crucial part of the company’s success.

Google, LG and Samsung aren’t the only companies rumored to be in the mix — Intel, Cisco and SAP are also popping up in the conversation. Could Intel be interested in the hardware side of things? It is, after all, a partner with Samsung in the open-source Tizen OS. Phones would be a way for the company to expand a bit outside of chips. Cisco’s business is networking, and perhaps it sees value in some of BlackBerry’s patents, as well. As far as SAP goes, that company is all about enterprise software and it’s possible SAP wants to take its goods and know-how to its own set of hardware or wants to use some of BlackBerry’s technology in its own products.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Along with these potential companies, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, Fairfax, wants to make a bid, and former CEO Mike Lazaridis seems interested in taking the company back. We’ll keep an eye out and report back with any new developments.


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