Last week, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced that the company may be open to offers to sell of its smartphone hardware division. It probably wasn’t the best of times to announce it, what with the big launch of the company’s next-gen operating system, BlackBerry 10, less than two weeks away – not the best way to usher in the company’s make-or-break product.
Perhaps he knew something that the others do not? Less than a week after Heins’ comment was reported, it has emerged that Lenovo, the world’s top PC vendor, may be interested in purchasing RIM’s smartphone hardware division. No, we’re not talking about rumours either: as Lenovo’s CFO Wong Wai Ming says, the company is “looking at all opportunities – RIM and many others”, and Lenovo will “have no hesitation if the right opportunity comes along that could benefit us and shareholders.”
It is an interesting turn of events, given that Lenovo is more renowned for its range of laptops and desktops than its fledgling smartphone business. Perhaps if RIM is looking to sell off its smartphone hardware division, it may just be the fast-track option that Lenovo needs to make it in the increasingly competitive smartphone OEM industry.