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8/9/2012
09:41 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Samsung To RIM: Not Interested

Samsung says it has not considered purchasing Research In Motion, nor licensing its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.

How IT Views RIM's Future: Exclusive Research
How IT Views RIM's Future: Exclusive Research
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Samsung quickly moved to dismiss the idea that it might purchase Research In Motion or license the smartphone maker's new BlackBerry platform.

"We haven't considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in [buying RIM]," said Samsung spokesperson James Chung to Reuters. The comment follows reports suggesting that Samsung might be in a position to save RIM from its descent into oblivion.

On Wednesday, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek said, "We believe RIM is attempting to revive discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal." Misek based this assessment on an apparent change of heart voiced by RIM CEO Thorsten Heins.

[ Does Samsung need RIM? Read Samsung, Apple Widen Lead In Smartphone Race. ]

Specifically, Heins said, "We don't have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it. There [are] different options we could do that we're currently investigating."

Heins was explaining to the Daily Telegraph that it is exploring strategic options, and that licensing BlackBerry 10 is one of the options it is looking at. Earlier this year, Heins said licensing wasn't on the table.

"Given recent management comments in the press," wrote Misek, "it now appears that RIM is realizing what Wall Street has been saying for some time: They are a subscale manufacturer and desperately need a partner."

RIM was reported to be in talks with Samsung earlier this year, so it's not unreasonable for Misek to assume RIM's recent comments might apply to Samsung.

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

Ouch. True that RIM has some good patents, but I think there's more worth buried somewhere in the BlackBerry maker beyond its intellectual property.

It's also worth pointing out that (so far) RIM hasn't denied the Misek report. Research In Motion has been mum on the subject. That could mean RIM is doing exactly what Misek said it is doing: looking for a partner.

Who else might RIM be talking to? Your guess is as good as mine.

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JameKatt
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JameKatt,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/10/2012 | 3:13:24 AM
re: Samsung To RIM: Not Interested
Why would Samsung buy RIM?

It would have nothing successful to copy.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
8/10/2012 | 1:05:56 AM
re: Samsung To RIM: Not Interested
What worth is there in RIM? We really don't know the value of their patents, but I suspect it's less than some wags assert. Their hardware business is worth approximately nothing. Their accounts are going to begin shrinking shortly, and are also of shrinking value.

So what else is there? The book value is likely much less than is given, so the stock still has a ways to fall. Whatever value there will be left in the company by the time January rolls around will be less than it is now. Any value left will be better when the company is liquidated, no point in buying the whole company.
FritzNelson
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FritzNelson,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2012 | 8:09:22 PM
re: Samsung To RIM: Not Interested
While I agree generally with the rest of the folks here about RIM's prospects, if you're Samsung and could offer customers options of Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10, that might be advantageous. Although making BB 10 work might not be worth the effort and cost, I don't know. However, Samsung has demonstrated that it is more serious than other Android handset makers about enterprise issues like security and MDM, so why not also consider buying an asset like BES.
davesg
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davesg,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2012 | 5:56:40 PM
re: Samsung To RIM: Not Interested
Yeah I don't see how RIM can recover. Which is too bad because they had a great product, and had plenty of warning they were soon to become irrelevant and did nothing.
Mack Knife
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Mack Knife,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2012 | 3:53:38 PM
re: Samsung To RIM: Not Interested
Samsung isn't about to invest in RIM when it has Android by the tail. Lets see, why don't we license BB10 so we can cannibalize the 40%+ marketshare we have with Android.

I'm sure another 2 or 3% of sales will make them do it.

Not.

Sorry RIM, your co-clowns ran the business into irrelevance. Your customers are bailing and no one really cares anymore. If you had half a brain you and not Nokia would have jumped into bed with Microsoft. Too late for that now.

The only thing what would save RIM is open source but given the nature of it's flagship model of security based on proprietary software and system, even that is out of reach.

Well, at least RIM will remain known as a Wikipedia entry.
frankhsu889
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frankhsu889,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2012 | 3:47:41 PM
re: Samsung To RIM: Not Interested
Why would anyone license BBM 10 when it is still not yet a shipped product and not proven in the field from both a technical and marketing point of view.
It is also cheaper to hire RIM experienced staff than spend billions to acquire the company.
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