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I doubt such a conversation happened over BBM or Facebook Chat, but Facebook and BlackBerry met about a bid for the handset and services company last week according to the Wall Street Journal. BlackBerry is looking for buyers and Facebook’s Home phone, the HTC First, wasn’t a hit. Let’s watch for an update on both company’s relationship status.

In Brief

Of the 14.7 million phones Nokia sold in the third quarter of 2013, 8.8 million were Lumia devices running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. The company reported the sales figures in its Tuesday quarterly report, which illustrated Nokia’s continued transition as the premier Windows Phone maker. Surprising was the fact that all of the smartphone sales growth came from North America: All other regions actually experienced quarterly sales declines.

The total phones sold is a boost over the 11.7 million in the prior quarter, but even higher Lumia sales did little to increase the average selling price (ASP) of Nokia’s handsets. The ASP stayed flat at 45 Euros (US $61.91) from the prior quarter.

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In Brief

The BlackBerry Z30 could be the last handset ever made by the company and it has a big supporter in Verizon Wireless. The carrier confirmed on Monday that it would be the exclusive network operator to sell the Z30 in the U.S. with a $199 contract price or $22.91 a month over 24 months through the Verizon Edge program.

The BlackBerry Z30 is a larger version of the Z10, using a 5-inch 720p display, faster processor and a 2880 mAh battery that the company claims can get up to 25 hours of mixed use on a single charge. Given the uncertainty of BlackBerry’s future as a company, I’m not anticipating record sales for the new phone.

In Brief

Nvidia is pushing out a software update to its portable Shield gaming console, bringing both Android 4.3 and game button mapping. The latter feature allows Shield owners to use the hardware controls for touchscreen-optimized Android games. This could help boost demand a bit for the $299 handheld.  Prior to the update the Shield only supported a few dozen games that natively worked with the buttons, sticks and triggers.

Nvidia is also offering the Shield for $199 with the purchase of select GeForce GTX graphics cards; the deal also includes free game titles. It’s a smart move to bundle a Shield promo with a graphics card because PC games can be streamed to the handheld device for playback with the right card.

In Brief

HP is looking to sell off some or all of its mobile patent portfolio, which could recoup a sizable portion of the $1.2 billion the company spent to buy Palm in 2010. Bloomberg reported the news on Thursday, saying HP recently removed some restrictions from potential buyers, which will make the overall portfolio more attractive and valuable.

Although HP made mobile devices in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s based on Microsoft Windows CE and Pocket PC software, the bulk of the mobile patents are likely from the Palm purchase. HP’s handling of the Palm brand, IP and devices are a business case-study of what not to do. If the company can gain back a bulk of its original investment in Palm, I’d call it a huge win considering all of the Palm webOS blunders it made.

Apple October 2013 invitation

Apple’s fall iPad event kicks off at 10am PT, and we’ll cover it live here. Sure, the big iPads will get a refresh, but what about the iPad mini or a keyboard accessory for the iPad line? Read more »

In Brief

BlackBerry might not be sold to Fairfax Financial after all; at least not if Lenovo has a say. The China-based company has reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement to review BlackBerry’s financials, the Wall Street Journal noted on Thursday. Sources tell the Journal that Lenovo is interested in purchasing all of BlackBerry, not just parts of it.

That’s a different approach from a number of companies such as Google, Cisco and others, which were recently reported to have wanted just parts of BlackBerry. Lenovo isn’t a big player in the smartphone market but is doing reasonably well with its PCs and could be looking to tie some BlackBerry services into its hardware product lineup or even try to bolster its smartphone products.

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