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Ding-dong! Who's at the door now with a big wad of cash, BlackBerry?

Embattled mobile firm given an offer it could probably refuse

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Mobile-chip specialist Qualcomm has been named as part of a group looking to make a bid for BlackBerry.

The Wall Street Journal cited "people familiar with the matter" when reporting that Qualcomm could join forces with private equity firm Cerberus Capital and the pairing of cofounders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin.

The report did not mention any details on a possible bid for the embattled BlackBerry, currently trading at a meagre $7.77 on the NASDAQ. Such a deal would give Qualcomm, best known for its line of mobile chipsets and processors, a fresh set of hardware platforms to work with as well as a mobile operating system.

An acquisition could also reunite the company with the two men who started the firm in 1984. Originally known as Research in Motion, the company emerged as a communications powerhouse in the late 1990s, and at its highest point the BlackBerry brand was synonymous with smartphone handsets.

Over the last five years, however, BlackBerry has seen its fortunes decline as rival iOS and Android devices eroded away much of BlackBerry's enterprise and consumer market share. Many industry pundits see a sale as the most likely endgame for the company.

To that end, there have been no shortage of rumoured suitors for BlackBerry. In separate deals, both Cerberus and Lazaridis and Fregin have been linked to reported bids for the company.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry is continuing the fight to re-establish itself as a big name in the mobile market behind chief executive Thorsten Heins, and an expanded platform of mobile management tools for both its own and competing mobile operating systems. ®

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