Blackberry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) executives met last week to discuss Facebook’s interest in making a bid for the troubled smartphone manufacturer, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Spokesmen for both companies declined to comment for the Journal story. The meeting has sparked speculation that Facebook is building a smartphone of its own. Half of the company’s income is generated by mobile advertising, making it dependent on hardware companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (OTN:SSNLF).
Buying Blackberry would come with several advantages for Facebook, allowing it to cut out the middlemen and sell its own line of phones to consumers. But CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly denied plans to build a phone, calling it the “wrong strategy.”
Blackberry is sitting on about $2.6 billion in cash and has no debt, although poor sales, layoffs and unsold inventory are slowly eating away at this reserve.
The most attractive of Blackberry’s assets are its patents, which consist of security-network technology and component patents.