Lenovo executives have said repeatedly the world’s top PC maker wants to further expand its smartphone business. The latest talk now: A possible “tie-up” with HTC. Meanwhile, as BlackBerry searches for a buyer, Cisco’s name keeps coming up. Do these deals make sense?

The Wall Street Journal today picks up on the HTC-Lenovo talks. These have been going on for a month or so, and WRALTechWire reported on the initial rumors way back on Aug. 23. But WSJ senses movement.

The Journal describes a possible deal as a “tie-up” – perhaps some sort of a joint venture. A JV would fit with Lenovo’s record, which includes JVs in Japan, Taiwan and elsewhere.

One analyst The Journal quotes has a favorable view of a deal.

“The cooperation of Lenovo and HTC could be (mutually) beneficial and work out well in China’s smartphone market,” Daiwa Capital Markets analyst Steven Tseng wrote in a research note. He cites Lenovo’s big distribution capabilities, especially in China where Lenovo is No. 2 behind Samsung in smartphone sales. HTC, meanwhile, has dandy products but can’t match Lenovo’s distribution power.

But HT, which pulled its office out of Durham a year ago, insists it is NOT for sale despite recently reporting its first quarterly loss since going public 11 years ago.

Of course, anyone who follows Lenovo knows that the company’s executives have talked or have been rumored to be talking about buying BlackBerry, too. 

You can read the full WSJ report online.


Meanwhile, the Reuters news service has been touting its “exclusive” reports about just who might buy struggling BlackBerry. Cisco has been among the firms listed as being interested in at least some of BlackBerry’s technology.

But respected IT columnist The VAR Guy dismisses the idea.

The headline on his column is quite clear:

Cisco Buy BlackBerry? Why John Chambers Must Say No

The networking giant must avoid the smartphone maker at all costs

The VAR Guy adds: ”Cisco CEO John Chambers has learned some painful M&A and mobile lessons in recent years,” he writes. “Surely, Chambers doesn’t want to repeat those missteps buy acquiring BlackBerry… right?”

He dismisses the Reuters reporting as rumors from BlackBerry designed to stoke interest.

“The story, based on anonymous sources, could simply involve BlackBerry backers trying to bring more bidders to the table or boost offer prices, The VAR Guy believes.”

The full column is available online.