Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) may have just announced a $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) handset business and license the Finnish company's patents, but that doesn't mean the tech behemoth has closed its enormous checkbook just yet.
Of course, that'd be music to weary BlackBerry shareholders' ears, considering the stomach-churning roller coaster they've endured over the past few months:
Back in June, the stock tanked more than 27% following the company's dismal second-quarter earnings report, after which new-ish CEO Thorsten Heins responded at its annual shareholder meeting by begging for patience and effectively telling everyone they were measuring BlackBerry by the wrong metrics.
Then, by the middle of August, the stock had already started to recover when BlackBerry's board announced they were exploring "strategic alternatives" for the business, one of which most notably included putting the company up on the auction block for sale.
Lately, though, many investors have worried there simply might not be anyone interested in buying BlackBerry, especially as its BB10 operating system simply isn't gaining the traction it needs to compete with more popular consumer-centric offerings from the likes of Apple and Samsung.
Naturally, Microsoft's Nokia acquisition only served to amplify those concerns.
Here's why Micro-Berry could make sense
Late Wednesday, however, a Wall Street Journal report stated BlackBerry has already "held preliminary talks with parties interested in buying part or all of the company," and is now "aiming to complete a fast auction process that could be wrapped up by November."
If you think that sounds like a tall order, you'd probably be right.
After all, BlackBerry's market capitalization currently sits at just over $5.6 billion, so there aren't many companies capable or willing to pull off a deal of this size, especially with no apparent signs of a near-term recovery for the struggling smartphone maker.
But that's still less than Mr. Softy paid for Nokia, and regardless of whether BlackBerry's devices and software are picking up steam in the ultra-competitive consumer segment, remember the company largely still exists because of its uncanny ability to cater to the needs of businesses, which require a solid enterprise security software solution.
And while Nokia's Lumia smartphones will undoubtedly do wonders to set up Microsoft for a renewed push in the worldwide mobile space, where they've largely lagged behind the more popular smartphones from Apple and Samsung, BlackBerry could serve as a nice supplementary prize to help Microsoft penetrate the also-lucrative enterprise segment.
By snagging BlackBerry by its new November deadline, then, Microsoft will have taken under its wing the two highest-profile smartphone has-beens available in the mobile market today. If Microsoft could then manage to successfully integrate the two into one larger complementary business, there's no reason it couldn't ultimately represent a formidable threat to the today's mobile market leaders down the road.
Fool contributor Steve Symington owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.