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Samsung and UConnect supplier: no deal?

by David Zatz on

Reuters reported that Samsung is angling to buy Blackberry, which is the current supplier of QNX — the operating system that UConnect runs on.


Samsung is no stranger to UNIX-style operating systems, with its portable devices running Android — which itself is based on Linux. The South Korean company dominates cell-phone and tablet sales, partly thanks to its  copying of Apple’s user interface and product design (according to court testimony). However, the QNX division of Blackberry would likely be kept with the same personnel.

Ford recently switched from Microsoft’s automotive operating system to QNX, after numerous embarrassingly easy hacks which allowed researchers to remotely control Ford and other cars with Microsoft-based telematics. QNX is a hardened operating system designed to prevent such issues, and Chrysler’s UConnect has proven far more reliable than Ford’s Sync in the field as well.

Fiat’s telematics still use Microsoft, and smaller Chrysler products tend to have the Fiat system as an entry level system.


Reuters reported that Samsung was offering at least $13.35 per share, far above the Canadian firm’s normal trading value in recent weeks ($9.71 – $12.60). However, a recent story in Bloomberg News stated that a spokesman from Samsung had denied the deal. An unnamed source at Blackberry itself was quoted as saying that they are often approached but would want a greater premium, given the company’s belief that its future will be far brighter than analysts predict. In addition, any deal would have to be approved by a relatively protectionist Canadian government.

Samsung has, however, created a set of secure programs on the new Blackberry BES12 server. Blackberry’s automotive and phone systems have been converging to provide coders with a single set of programming interfaces so that code can easily be written for both phones and cars.

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