Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Google eyes Blackberry as Nexus 5 plans leak

Google may be discussing a potential bid to buy some or all of Blackberry, the floundering mobile phone business, according to reports this last week. The news comes in the wake of other leaks suggesting that the search giant maybe soon to release the Nexus 5 after a purported service manual was posted on the document sharing service Scribd.

Blackberry bids

According to Reuters, which first reported the news, several companies may be looking at offering bids for Blackberry Ltd. formerly known as RIM. Other potential bidders include Cisco and SAP. The company, based in Waterloo, Ontario, has asked for preliminary expressions of interest from other strategic buyers, which are also said to include Intel Corp and Asian companies LG and Samsung. Cerberus, a private equity firm which specialises in buying up distressed companies, is also expected to table a rival offer for the entire company [CNN / Telegraph].

Blackberry woes

However none of the companies have confirmed or denied the reports and any bids for the company are likely to be be treated cautiously given BlackBerry's financial concerns. Last month they reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion after taking a writedown on unsold Z10 Blackberry smartphones. The company also recently announced it was cutting its workforce, shedding more than 4,500 jobs [T3].

The Z10 was presented at the BlackBerry 10 event on January 30, 2013 but sales have been sluggish. The company had launched the touchscreen device, a shift away from its built-in physical keyboard design, in order to compete with the growing number of similar devices using iOS, Android or Windows Mobile.

News of a potential buyout of the mobile phone company has boosted the company's stock which rose some 4% on Monday closing at around $8 [IBN / Google Finance].

Google could certainly capitalise on the purchase of Blackberry. It already has a small but loyal customer base, and to draw in these users into Google's nest would be a coup. Should Google acquire the entire company it is possible, even likely, that future Blackberry devices will be Android powered. This could boost sales, but could anger current Blackberry users.

But the tech giant will have some stiff competition from the likes of Samsung and Cisco who will certainly be interested in the host of patents under Blackberry's belt.

Nexus 5 leaks

This week also saw further leaks concerning Google's next much anticipated mobile phone offering, the Nexus 5. Android Police were the first to reveal details about the upcoming device gleaned from a leaked service manual that was posted to Scribd, a document sharing service over the weekend.

The 281-page booklet included images, detailed diagrams and information about the phone. According to the document the new handset will feature an 8-megapixel rear camera, an LTE radio and improved battery life, and will be available in 16GB or 32GB sizes.

It will have 4.95-inch 1080p IPS screen and a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 with 2GB of RAM, making it more powerful than the previous Nexus 4 model.

The leak comes amid speculation that LG are due to launch a new handset in their Nexus series in the coming weeks, with the Nexus 4 having been revealed around this time last year [Telegraph / ZDNet].

LG force removal of docs & pics

Android Police were forced to remove the images and links to the original document by LG, though not before details and the manual itself had been seen, downloaded and commented on by millions of web users. Scribd also removed the document citing copyright issues. Other websites including Phandroid and Droid-Life were also obliged to remove links to the manual.

Speculation of Nexus 5 launch

There has been much speculation about when Google and a partner manufacturer might launch another device with stock Android, especially after the Nexus 4 was first reduced in price on its Play Store before becoming unavailable completely.

When launched it is likely to be released with Android KitKat 4.4, the first Android variant with commercial sponsorship. As for the timing of such a launch, the latest speculation is that the device will release at the end of this month [T3].

tvnewswatch, Shanghai, China

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