Beleaguered RIM weighs sale; Microsoft seen as potential buyer

“The new chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. is overhauling the company’s executive ranks and exploring strategic options, including a sale of the struggling smartphone pioneer,” Will Connors reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The changes include the exit of longtime executive Jim Balsillie, who had presided over RIM’s rise and steep fall. Mr. Balsillie, who until earlier this year was co-CEO, resigned his board seat and is parting ways with a company he helped run for 20 years.”

Connors reports, “The moves are an attempt to ensure the survival of the Canadian company as it makes an effort to catch up with rivals like Apple Inc. and Google Inc. that are winning away its customers at an accelerating pace.”

MacDailyNews Take: In the U.S., Apple’s pace has a bit more acceleration than Google’s:

Nielsen: U.S. Smartphone OS Share, February 2012

Connors reports, “Technology bankers say the field of potential buyers for the entire company is limited, although there could be buyers for parts of its business, such as its software assets, its network, and its portfolio of patents related to wireless technology. Last year, Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.22% and Nokia Corp. NOK -2.21% discussed making a joint bid for RIM, people familiar with the matter said, but those talks were very preliminary.”

“Microsoft, which already has partnerships with RIM, has long been considered a suitor. Analysts have said a deal would give Microsoft a foothold in the handsets market,” Connors reports. “Still, Microsoft has not made a public move and could be waiting for RIM’s stock to get even cheaper before it decides to pursue a deal. Microsoft declined to comment.”

“RIM popularized mobile email, and its devices were once a badge of success in the corporate world. But companies and even governments have moved rapidly away from RIM, which was outsold by Apple’s iPhone last year even in its home market of Canada,” Connors reports. “The damage was evident in RIM’s fourth quarter, which ended March 3. Revenue dropped by 25% from the same quarter a year earlier, and the company said it would write off $267 million worth of unsold BlackBerry 7 models, its newest device. Apple, by contrast, saw its sales rise 73% in the three months through December.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Micromotion.

Related articles:
Google’s Android has generated just $550 million since 2008, but billions from Apple iPhone, figures suggest – March 30, 2012
Nielsen: Apple’s U.S. iPhone market share surges as Android stalls – March 29, 2012
Beleaguered BlackBerry-maker RIM gives up on most consumer markets – March 29, 2012
Beleaguered RIM misses badly on revenue, EPS, unit shipments; Former half-CEO Balsillie resigns; CTO, COO also out – March 29, 2012
Beleaguered RIM looking for developer to ‘create exciting iOS enterprise apps’ for Apple iPhone, iPad – March 22, 2012
Beleaguered RIM BlackBerry loses top spot to Apple’s iPhone in Canada – March 22, 2012
Beleaguered RIM names new CEO; half-CEOs step down amid struggle to answer Apple – January 22, 2012

21 Comments

    1. This is my favorite quote,
      “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
      Palm CEO Ed Colligan Nov., 2006.

        1. Right, because Balmer claimed it was “developers, developers, developers” that mattered.

          What Balmer didn’t literally see coming was the move to the computer in your pocket and the fact that developers would be needed for that.

    1. What, that’s any different than Google buying Motorola? Microsoft has only 2% of the smartphone OS market, while Google has about 50%. Who’s being anti-competitive here?

  1. Oh Boy! MS can become the “Island of Misfit Phones”! 1st Nokia, then RIM, maybe Google will donate Motorola. And HP can throw palm’s carcass at MS…….. All the losers in a neat tidy bundle.

    1. Rather amazing at how many cellphone companies are failing, when the market is growing so fast!

      Motorola, losing money, gets bought by Google.
      Palm, failing, gets bought by HP.
      Nokia, failing, fails some more.
      RIM, failing, looks for buyer.
      Sony, failing, splits from Ericsson.
      LG, failing, fires CEO.
      Dell, failing, no one knew they had smartphones.

      Any more?

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