Multiple reports surfaced earlier this month that Samsung has engaged in buyout talks to acquire BlackBerry for as much as $7.5 billion but both companies quickly denied that any acquisition huddles had occurred. The Korean manufacturer was said to covet BlackBerry’s 44,000 patent portfolio as it girds itself for long-haul warfare with bitter rival Apple (AAPL).
According to one report, Samsung was but one of several suitors vying for BlackBerry, with the Canadian device maker reportedly spurning a number of prior buyout offers in the past few months, mostly from foreign companies.
But J.K. Shin, Samsung’s mobile head, told the Wall Street Journal, “We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, not acquire the company.”
Shin said Samsung’s enterprise strategy hinges on its Knox security platform, not on acquisitions, and the company, which has invested heavily in Knox, remains committed to it for the long haul.
Last October, Samsung’s Knox mobile security-enabled Galaxy S4 and S5 smartphones and its Note 3, Note 4 and Note 10.1 phablets gained approval from the U.S. National Security Agency under the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program. The official nod attached to Samsung a level of credibility for its Knox-equipped devices as an alternative to government approved stalwart BlackBerry in circumstances where security takes a prominent role in pubic sector buying decisions.
The two companies’ existing partnership struck last November calls for them to deliver Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4 mobile devices embedded with the Knox security technology and deploying BlackBerry’s BES12 Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) software. In addition, Samsung will resell BES12 to joint customers and BlackBerry will offer Knox support as part of the Gold family of BES12 subscriptions.
Separately, Samsung reportedly has dumped Qualcomm (QCOM) as a chip supplier for its upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphones, according to Bloomberg. Samsung is said to have tested Qualcomm’s 810 Snapdragon chip in its new device but the processor reportedly overheated.
The device maker reportedly will show off two models of its upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone, one version encased in metal and another featuring a curved edge, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), March 2-5 in Barcelona.