Ever since rumours of potential BlackBerry acquisitions arose years ago, smartphone maker Samsung has often been listed as a potential suitor, despite consistently deflecting the notion on public record.
The company did more of the same this week when Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, told the Korea Times on Monday that “Samsung is not considering that opportunity,” referring to BlackBerry putting itself up for sale.
In the same breath, Samsung also confirmed that it plans to unveil a smartwatch next week called the Galaxy Gear.
Meanwhile, BlackBerry is considering spinning off its BlackBerry Messenger service into a separate unit, according to sources cited in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ reports that the subsidiary would be called BBM Inc. However, BlackBerry is refusing to comment “on rumour and speculation.”
Ahead of this potential spin off, BlackBerry will launch BBM for both Android and iOS, two competing software platforms. According to WSJ’s sources familiar with the matter, that should happen “in the next few weeks.” Following that, the Waterloo company may also bring BBM to the desktop, similar to how Apple did with iMessage on the iMac.
BBM currently has about 60 million users. Over the years its feature list has expanded to include such things as video calling over wifi and BBM channels.