On Monday, rumours surfaced that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was considering a bid for BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY), sending the latter’s stock price up 6%.

Is this just a rumour, or a real possibility?

Why Apple would buy BlackBerry

BlackBerry deserves much credit for its turnaround thus far, but there’s still a long way to go. In fact many still doubt the company will survive in the long term. This is a big fear for many of BlackBerry’s most loyal customers, who do not want to switch to a rival provider.

This brings me to the U.S. Federal government: BlackBerry’s largest client. In the past, the Feds probably would have opposed a BlackBerry merger due to antitrust concerns. But now, with BlackBerry just a shadow of its former self, a takeover wouldn’t really restrict competition at all. Instead, a takeover would likely bring welcome relief to the U.S. government, who would no longer have to worry about changing their BlackBerry phones.

Meanwhile, Apple’s relationship with the U.S. government has grown more important to the company. Last year alone it spent a record $4.1 million on lobbying. Many people see this as a response to increased scrutiny over security problems. Furthermore, Apple is expanding its role in financial services, and will need the U.S. government’s favour in this area.

So, conceivably, Apple could buy BlackBerry to appease the government. As a bonus, the tech giant would get some much-needed help with security. On the surface, it seems like a win-win-win.

Why this is just a rumour

There are a few reasons why this merger makes little sense.

For one, Apple probably isn’t all that interested. The company has an established position in the enterprise market, and doesn’t need BlackBerry’s help in this area. Such a merger would also be very out of character for Apple, which is usually very conservative with its cash.

Second, BlackBerry probably wouldn’t be interested. Remember, the company turned down Samsung back in January, preferring instead to continue with its turnaround. I see no reason why BlackBerry would change course so suddenly.

The right way to trade BlackBerry

In my opinion, BlackBerry should eventually get bought out sooner than later. The value of the company’s assets and capabilities (its leadership in security, its patents, and its QNX operating system) would probably be much more valuable in the hands of another company.

And until BlackBerry does get acquired, it will likely continue to struggle, mainly because so many people question its long-term survival. As an investor, I would avoid BlackBerry for now. But if its struggles continue, then a takeover may be in the cards. That might create a fantastic opportunity.

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Fool contributor Benjamin Sinclair has no position in any stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple.