Report: IBM Wants to Buy RIM's Enterprise Service Unit if BB10 Flops
August 10, 2012 12:12 PM
comment(s) - last by
No potential buyers have expressed interest in the phone unit
Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is facing a daunting task by trying to make its next generation BlackBerry – which is running the new QNX-derived BlackBerry 10 operating system -- a success. Due out next year, RIM must somehow trying to jump over a series of high hurdles including
weakening brand image
, a crowded market, and a
significantly shrinking engineering department
To be successful, RIM must beat rivals like Google Inc. (
), Samsung Electronic Comp., Ltd. (
) and Apple, Inc. (
) who have proven success in consumer smartphone sales, as well as struggling, but deeper-pocket players like Microsoft Corp. (
If the much-hyped and
is unable to beat the rest of the field in features and revive sales -- an outcome
expected by many
-- RIM's leadership will likely be forced into the option they have resisted the most --
a break-up and sale
a new report
two sources close to RIM and the independent bank review panel -- the Royal Bank of Canada (
) and JPMorgan Chase & Comp. (
) -- it hired to assess its options say that International Business Machines, Inc. (
) has approached RIM with serious interest to purchase its enterprise division. IBM is one of the enterprise technology sphere's greatest powers and it arguably has the experience to repurpose the unit, hence this seems like a reasonable fit.
IBM is a top enterprise service and hardware provider. [Image Source: IBM]
But analysts say the potential sale will likely be put on hold while RIM waits to see whether BB10 finds fortune or failure. Adnaan Ahmad, an analyst at Berenberg with a sell rating on RIM’s shares, comments, "If they were to offload this, they are offloading their jewel. They want to give BlackBerry 10 a go, so I don’t think this would happen until next year."
That could actually benefit IBM, as failure of BB10 may lead to greater desperation at RIM and a fire-sale price for this prized unit. The unit, which made $4.1B USD in service fees charged to mobile carriers in 2011, is currently valued at $1.5-2.5B USD. But that value could dip lower depending on the fortune (or more aptly, lack thereof) of BB10.
IBM is reportedly considering gutting the Rimdenberg. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]
If the sale happens, the big question is who -- if anyone -- will want the phone unit. No parties, according to the
sources, have expressed interest in buying
of RIM since the review. Likewise, interest in buying the struggling phone unit has been non-existent.
While waiting to sell may ultimately burn shareholders by devaluing the phone and enterprise service units, in a way, long-term shareholders
don't have much more to lose
. A share of RIM stock is today worth about 1/20th of what it was traded for back when the company was popular and profitable in 2008.
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RE: IIt would be cool if...
8/10/2012 12:56:03 PM
Agreed... I didnt mean that IBM wasnt at all involved, I meant that I hope someone with an actual purchasable product on the market. MS obviously because they already own the enterprise market from an IT/Server perspective, so mobile makes an easy and trusted addition. Apple or Google, simply because they are both huge players that would quickly benefit from having a foothold in enterprise.
Picture this Apple, Google or MS buys RIM and announces that Blackberry mail service will be available on only their platform. It would be huge. The software is already developed. RIM has been toying with licensing BES to other makers for years. There is even a working version on the Palm OS. That's Palm OS5, not WebOS to give you an idea how long it's been toyed with. RIM just always wanted too much money so no-one bought into it.
RE: IIt would be cool if...
8/10/2012 6:30:39 PM
Cisco would be a more logical fit than IBM.
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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