Samsung's Shin: We want to expand partnership with BlackBerry, not buy them

Samsung Electronics does not want to buy BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) but instead wants to use more of the company's services in Samsung's devices, according to a co-CEO of Samsung.

"We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, not acquire the company," Samsung co-CEO JK Shin said Monday in a statement to Bloomberg. "BlackBerry is one of our important business-to-business strategic partners."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is separately in talks with BlackBerry to extend the scope of its partnership. Samsung did not elaborate on the potential extension of its deal with BlackBerry.

Reuters reported last week that Samsung recently approached BlackBerry to buy the company for up to $7.5 billion, a report both companies flatly denied. A deal would put together the world's leading smartphone maker (Samsung) with a fading power that still has a great deal of intellectual property and mobile security prowess (BlackBerry). However, based on Shin's statement, it appears Samsung wants to get the benefits of BlackBerry's technology without having to buy the entire company.

As part of a deal the companies unveiled in November, Blackberry is adding security services to Samsung phones and Samsung said it will resell the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 platform to its customers. BlackBerry hopes that the BES12 platform will kick start a comeback in the enterprise market.

Under their teaming, enterprise customers that buy Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets embedded with Samsung's Knox device management software for Android can add BlackBerry's BES12 end-to-end security and encryption solution on top of it. Samsung will also resell BES12 to joint customers and BlackBerry will offer Knox support as part of the Gold family of its own BES12 subscriptions.

Shin said an acquisition of BlackBerry would be counter to Samsung's strategy in the enterprise market, according to the WSJ, which has been built around Knox. Samsung has poured money into Knox over the past few years but has not generated a great deal of traction with it thus far. "We are satisfied with the progress of Knox, including the quality of security and protection that it enables, and remain committed to Knox over the long term," the company said.

Some analysts have said that a purchase of BlackBerry by Samsung might make sense to give Samsung access to Blackberry's trove of 44,000 patents. However, Samsung discounted that, pointing to the fact that as of the end of 2013, it had registered more than 110,000 patents globally, including more than 34,000 in the U.S.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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