Friday, August 10, 2012

Breaking News: RIM, maker of Blackberry in more trouble, IBM considers buying it, Samsung says it is not interested.

"RIM has already lost its initiative in the smartphone market and what is left doesn't look really attractive to the likes of Samsung," said Lee Sei-cheol, an analyst at Meritz Securities. "Should they have a deep patent pool, that might be the most appealing asset to potential acquirers."

But South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said on Thursday it has not considered acquiring Research In Motion or licensing the embattled BlackBerry phone maker's new mobile operating system.

A lack of support from potential partners such as Samsung could mean more trouble for RIM, which is seeking various options to turn around its embattled business.

Shares of RIM had risen more than 5 percent early on Wednesday after an influential analyst said it may license the BlackBerry 10 system to Samsung.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, is the biggest seller of phones that run on Google Inc's Android system, but it also makes phones using Microsoft's Windows as well as its proprietary software called bada.

Its strategy of making phones with multiple platforms had raised speculation it may also license BlackBerry's system to stretch its lead over rivals such as Apple and diversify away from Google, which now owns a handset manufacturing business after acquiring Motorola Mobility.

RIM plans to use its new operating system, known as BB10, in a next-generation line of BlackBerrys expected to launch early next year. It is considered RIM's last hope of reversing BlackBerry's steady decline in market share.

RIM's shares have fallen more than 80 percent since the beginning of 2011 when Apple and other smartphone makers started to widen their lead on RIM, which once dominated the business.

Shares in Samsung closed up 1.5 percent on Thursday, versus a 2 percent rise in the broader market.
In a related development, International Business Machines Corp has considered buying Research In Motion's enterprise division, Bloomberg reported On Friday, citing two unnamed sources.

IBM made an informal approach for the enterprise business that operates the servers used for supporting BlackBerry email and messaging services, one of the sources said, according to Bloomberg. The report said no talks were currently underway.

Under the leadership of new chief executive, Thorsten Heins, RIM has hired bankers for a strategic review that could include a potential sale and partnerships for its technology.

The Bloomberg report said the BlackBerry maker has not yet received any offers for its phone business or for the whole company.

RIM virtually invented mobile email with its first BlackBerry devices more than a decade ago, but its market share has evaporated as consumers have flocked to Apple Inc's iPhone and devices based on Google Inc's Android system. RIM has lost over 70 percent in market capitalization in the last year alone.

RIM officials declined to comment to Reuters while IBM officials were not immediately available.

On Thursday, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said it has not considered acquiring RIM or licensing the embattled BlackBerry phone maker's new mobile operating system, despite an earlier report from an influential analyst floating the idea.

With the rapidly declining fortunes of RIM, will your new smartphone be an IBM? Lets us share.

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