Never mind that Facebook hasn't exactly taken the world by storm with smartphones carrying its brand. And never mind that what's left of BlackBerry's user base is largely comprised of Enterprise-based users who value the platform's added layer of security -- not exactly the kind of people who would embrace the idea of a BlackBerry built around easy wall updates and photo sharing. According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is the latest company to kick the tires at the beleaguered smartphone maker, and execs from the two companies met in California last week to discuss a possible deal.
On the surface, there's some logic to the idea of a Facebook-BlackBerry tie-up. Facebook certainly has pockets deep enough to afford an asking price of over $4 billion. And Facebook's future is tied inextricably to the mobile universe, where it has over 800 million users and brings in 41 percent of its ad revenue. Having its own mobile platform would guarantee Facebook's ability to promote its wares in the event that Google, Apple, or Microsoft decided they didn't want to prominently feature Facebook on their devices. And, given the way the battle royale between Apple and Google over iOS played out, those concerns may not be entirely far-fetched.
However, with very few mobile players other than Apple and Samsung actually making anything selling handsets, and with Google continuing to lose money on Motorola, taking over a device manufacturer -- particularly one that seems to be in a permanent tailspin -- seems like a losing battle. At least in Nokia, Microsoft will get a company that has seen its sales tick upward in its most recent quarter. For $4 billion, Facebook would get the Z10 and a company that's losing a billion dollars a quarter -- and potentially risk losing fans among Android, iOS and Windows Phone manufacturers. Sounds like something Zuckerberg wouldn't like a whole lot.