To say that Research In Motion has been having a rough year would be putting it mildly. In fact, they’ve had several rough years in a row. BlackBerry’s market share has plummeted as the company has struggled and failed to remain relevant in an industry now thoroughly owned by Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system.
Now it looks like RIM may be getting desperate. Citing “trusted sources,” BGR is reporting that the company is shopping around for buyers. Whether they plan to sell off individual divisions or the entire company is apparently still up in the air at this point. If BGR’s sources are to be believed, the company is ready to sell whatever they can to whoever will buy. The asking price for the whole company would probably be in the $10-12 billion range, though whether anyone would be willing to pay that is unclear. Samsung and HTC have been floated as potential buyers, but there is little solid information at this point.
RIM unveiled updates to their BlackBerry and PlayBook operating systems at CES last week to generally positive reviews. Nevertheless there have been increasing signs in recent months that BlackBerry was on the way out. In November they announced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which would allow BlackBerry’s vaunted security and IT management platform to work with iOS and Android devices. The move was seen by many as RIM’s acknowledgement that BlackBerry had lost hegemony in the business world. Then, late last month, there was another report from inside RIM claiming that the launch of the much anticipated BlackBerry 10 phone was being delayed because RIM couldn’t get a decently functional prototype of the device.
All in all, it looks like we may be moving quickly toward the last days of RIM, at least in its current form. Whether the company is sold off piecemeal or all at once, there are certainly big changes on the horizon.