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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. (TSE:RIM).  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 [source], but it's unlikely to get that much back, given the fast turn-around.  According to Reuters  "other minor assets that it recently acquired" would also be up for sale.

Here's a list of RIM's recent acquisitions (courtesy of Wikipedia):

RIM acquisitions

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 of delays, 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 the release [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.

Sources: Reuters, RIM

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RE: I'm a survivor
By Nutzo on 8/14/2012 11:21:44 AM , Rating: 4
Already made the switch myself to a Galaxy S3.

At this point, it doesn't matter how good BB10 is, they will never regain thier market share. The best RIM will be able to do (assuming BB10 is amazing) is hold onto a distant 3rd or 4th place in the market.

RE: I'm a survivor
By omnicronx on 8/14/2012 11:40:51 AM , Rating: 2
I think it all depends. I doubt they will ever regain their consumer share, but regaining (and maintaining existing) business share may not be out of the realm of possibility.

Many firms still won't let users use anything but BB's..

RE: I'm a survivor
By omnicronx on 8/14/2012 11:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
Though personally I think RIM is out of the hardware business by this time next year ;)

BES will be their main focus, and everything else will be sold off..

RE: I'm a survivor
By jimbojimbo on 8/14/2012 2:07:21 PM , Rating: 2
The thing with our company is the BES support contract is EXPENSIVE!! and we already maintain a significant Microsoft support contract so we have been using more and more ActiveSync phones to eventually get away from using BES. That and it's what the user want so it all points to the same direction, eventually getting rid of BES. BBX10 may be an option since it will support ActiveSync but by then there will be no reason to use a BB except by personal choice. Good luck, RIM, but I don't see it recovering from this huge delay.

RE: I'm a survivor
By Mitch101 on 8/14/2012 1:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
Windows Phone is expected to Surpass rim by October will see if Rim can hold onto 4th place from lets say a Facebook Phone.

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