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TheStreet Open House

BlackBerry Ltd - Dell Partnership To Battle Apple, IBM?

Dell echoed BlackBerry's sentiment in saying the partnership between Apple and IBM isn't a threat

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) (BB) management said on Thursday that they don’t see the partnership between Apple Inc. (AAPL) and International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) as a big deal. Now Dell Inc is joining in by saying they’re not worried about it either.

Dell downplays Apple - IBM partnership

BlackBerry and Dell are widely seen as underdogs in the consumer electronics industry. Many think Apple’s partnership with IBM does threaten them, especially BlackBerry, as it struggles to get back on its feet by targeting enterprise customers. John Swainson, chief of Dell’s global software division, said they don’t take the new partnership seriously and that he thinks it “just made a good press release,” reports Reuters.

Swainson was once at IBM and said he has “some trouble understanding how IBM reps are going to really help Apple very much.” He said the company’s representatives actually weren’t that good at introducing devices into customers’ accounts when they were only doing IBM’s own products, so he doesn’t understand how doing it with Apple’s products is going to be better.

Swainson added that Apple’s security features just aren’t good enough for a number of big business clients, a sentiment BlackBerry asserted on Thursday.

BlackBerry, Dell to partner?

BlackBerry said it is currently seeking a partnership like the one between Apple and IBM to strengthen its position. Dell and BlackBerry wouldn’t say whether they will think about partnering, but there have been arguments made previously that the two would do each other a lot of good if they got together.

Dell already has a massive sales team and a long list of business clients. The company has also been focused on improving its capabilities in device management and security—two areas in which BlackBerry excels. There’s been talk for about a year or so that BlackBerry and Dell could partner up.

At that time, both companies were looking into buyouts, with BlackBerry reported to be talking with a private-equity firm regarding a collaboration in enterprise. Meanwhile Dell founder Michael Dell was in the process of taking the company private, and the private-equity firm said to be involved in both transactions was the same: Silver Lake Partners. A source said at the time all of that was happening, a collaboration between BlackBerry and Dell was supposedly on the table.

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