RIM to Sell Off Recent Acquisitions to Try to Save BB10 Bid
August 14, 2012 6:43 AM
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On the block include cloud-services firm NewBay and other recent additions
Dublin, Ireland based NewBay was quite pleased when it was scooped up by Waterloo, Ontario-based phonemaker Research in Motion, Ltd. (
). A union with the Canadian giant seemed a natural fit. NewBay provided cloud services -- photo, video, and social-networking tools -- while RIM had one of the largest portfolios of enterprise services, a portfolio whose gaps would be filled by the new acquisition.
But times have gone from bad to worse at RIM and now NewBay is up on the auction block as RIM tries to scrounge up the cash it needs to survive the last couple remaining money-losing quarters that stand between it and the release of its BlackBerry 10 operating system.
Reportedly, RIM paid $100M USD (£63.9M) for NewBay last October [
], but it's unlikely to get that much back, given the fast turn-around.
"other minor assets that it recently acquired" would also be up for sale.
Here's a list of RIM's recent acquisitions (courtesy of
Of those listed, Jaycut, Certicom, NewBay, and The Amazing Tribe were viewed as the biggest purchases.
RIM clearly will be hanging on to Torch and QNX who hold the keys to its browser and new operating system, respectively. Certicom also seems unlikely to go, given its value to RIM's enterprise users. But Jaycut and The Amazing Tribe could be potential additions to this round of asset sales.
It has taken RIM
nearly three years
to productize QNX in the smartphone space. After over a year
, it hopes to finally air the next generation operating system early next year. RIM is hopeful that OS will
reignite consumers' love affair
with the BlackBerry and save its ship.
But it faces tough competition, and its executives seem
dangerously out of touch
with the grim reality facing the firm, such as new marketing chief Frank Boulben who recently suggested he
didn't have to do too much to market BB10
because it "markets itself". Reality is that most customers haven't heard of BB10. And unless RIM pulls off the seemingly impossible, it will
be on the auction block itself
next year, as shareholders try to recover bits of value from a stock that had
fallen to a twentieth of its peak value
in recent trading.
A minor side note -- RIM's thus far
languishing tablet bid
has received a bit of a boost from
[press release] of the LTE PlayBook, which packs 32 GB of NAND flash storage, a new 1.5 GHz processor, and RIM's updated
PlayBook 2.0 operating system
(also QNX-based). But the price point -- $550 USD off-contract -- may sour what little sweetness the improved spec may bring.
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Product or Poor Management
8/14/2012 8:44:45 AM
RIM has been a poorly managed company for the past five years or so. They had a huge lead, then squandered it amidst a changing marketplace and higher customer expectations. They've been coasting on pure inertia which has slowing down substantially.
I had recently picked up and played with my sister's BlackBerry she uses for work and there's still a lot to like about them, but they're just not the all-in-one tool a modern smartphone is today.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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