As the BlackBerry brand slowly dies, considerations are being made about what do do with its assets, including more than 5,000 US patents built up over a decade of innovation in the mobile marketplace, and more than 3,700 wireless applications.
Among those enterprises likely to be interested in picking over these potentially lucrative bones are rivals Samsung, Apple and Google. According to Chris Bartlett of investment bank MDB Capital Group, Microsoft could also be interested.
"BlackBerry still has a good enterprise and global footprint. Someone like Microsoft could justify paying $4bn to $5bn for the business, and $4bn to $5bn for the IP, which would yield an $8bn to $10bn purchase price," he told AllThingsD.
Other potential suitors include Amazon and Facebook and far-eastern vendors HTC and Lenovo, all of whom have the financial clout and a strong motivation to get ahead in the fiercely contested mobile space.
If the patents and other BlackBerry IP were to be sold to a consortium, Martlett estimated that they would be worth just $2bn-$3bn, meaning that the Canadian firm might be better to hold out for a sole buyer, if possible, in the hope that bidding for the assets would force up their price.
Despite its problems, the BlackBerry's security features and infrastructure such as the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) mean that its devices are still popular in large organisations and public sector bodies, and there will be many rivals eager to take its place.
A special board committee has been set by BlackBerry which is 'exploring strategic alternatives' - including break-up, sale or privatisation.
The committee's strategic options will be limited by the fact that BlackBerry's market share has declined so much since its peak four years ago that potential buyers will be worried that its decline is in fact irreversible.
In further bleak news for the firm, analyst Gartner announced today that Windows has beaten BB10 into fourth place in terms of mobile operating system market share, commanding 3.3 per cent compared with BlackBerry's 2.7 per cent. At the same time last year, BlackBerry enjoyed a 5.2 per cent market share.