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Alternative plan would sell a stake to a large company like Microsoft

Embattled Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) CEO Thorsten Heins has expressed openness to "strategic business model alternatives", commentary which some believe hints at a sale.  RIM retained help to explore its options -- the Royal Bank of Canada (TSE:RY) and JPMorgan Chase & Comp. (JPM).

Now The Sunday Times, a top United Kingdom weekly owned by News Corp. (NWS), is claiming that RIM is considering a proposal from its bank advisors to split itself in two.  One company will be composed of RIM's services, which include BlackBerry Messaging (BBM), BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), and BlackBerry Enterprise Servers (BES).  The other company would be RIM's handset business and potentially certain patents.

The latter company would be put on the auction block.  Potential buyers are thought to be, Inc. (AMZN) whose tablet success might embolden it for a handset dip, or Facebook, Inc. (FB) who is reportedly eyeing a handset plunge to boost revenues.

BlackBerry sales
RIM is reportedly considering selling its handset business.
[Image Source: Christian Science Monitor]

The services company could also be sold, if interested bidders were found.

So far RIM has only publicly received a handful of seemingly sarcastic offers, such as one rapper's proposal to buy it.  But RIM's industry leading physical keyboards, brand recognition, and experienced staff could be make the company's handset division a tempting "fixer-upper" for an ambitious firm.

According to The Sunday Times, a second alternative plan from the advising firms would be to sell a large market share to a company like Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

RIM is coming up on its fiscal Q1 earnings, which will be revealed on June 28th.  CEO Heins says his firm will "likely have an operating loss", following a similar loss las quarter.  Unsold handsets are piling up and RIM has begun to lay off a large chunk of its global workforce -- in short, time may be running out to preserve shareholder value in the struggling firm.

Source: The Sunday Times

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By amanojaku on 6/25/2012 9:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
Truth. RIM's new strategy is the perfect example of self-destruction. Split the company? What good will that do? The software won't sell without the hardware, and RIM wants to get rid of the hardware. No admin is going to buy BES just to hook it to Android and iOS. Users don't want BIS or BBM because they've never heard of them, and don't need them.

BB only worked as a whole ecosystem for a specific environment. It should remain that way, while adding support for 3rd party handsets on BES, BIS and BBM. This way, a company can insist that for the most security (doctor, banker, lawyer, POTUS, etc...) an employee must use a BB connected to BES. For normal security your own phone is fine, as long as it has the secure BBM and BIS apps when connecting to company resources.

By Samus on 6/25/2012 10:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
RIM's downfall has been failure to adapt. They've been in limbo for over 5 years. Their products literally haven't changed. They keep smacking on new OS versions like Mozilla does to Firefox, without really changing anything. The biggest innovation to the Bold has been a touchscreen (which, at 3", is quite useless) and their form factors and back-end "BES" are antiquated. Their whole data delivery system is antiquated.

It's sad to see good products die, but RIM hasn't made good products since 2007.

By retrospooty on 6/25/2012 10:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. Sitting on their laurels for far too long got them here. I remember Lazardis being quoted when talking about the iPhone and Android's touch screen UI several years ago as saying "Our customers dont want that". LOL. OK, nice move buddy.

By amanojaku on 6/25/2012 10:40:50 AM , Rating: 2
Very true. Curious to see if they finally address some of this with the L and N-series phones.

The touchscreen Bold was blech. The 9650 was an excellent telephone, but its tiny size and anemic performance made it unusable as a smartphone.

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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