Should Cisco Buy RIM?

by Gaurav Kheterpal on October 21, 2010

The Globe reports that UBS Securities Canada analysts believe RIM is a possible acquisition target for Cisco. I find it bewildering that though RIM hit a new Q2 record, launched an enterprise-ready ‘Playbook’ and did a wonderful job of resisting the temptation to build another iPad, analysts still believe that the company is in dire straits and up for grabs.

So, Would Cisco buy RIM? I do not know. Should Cisco buy RIM? Perhaps, it makes sense for Cisco but I’d be disappointed if RIM does throw in the towel.

To be honest, I’m no longer surprised with this news. Several analysts have claimed that the Microsoft-RIM deal is inevitable and it’s a matter of “When” rather than “If”. As it turns out, Microsoft decided to go the Windows Phone 7 route instead. There were rumors that HP signaled its intentions to scoop up a big phone-maker which turned out to be Palm rather than RIM. Since IBM had a busy shopping season this year, it was regarded as another contender to buy out RIM. However, IBM-RIM deal is as likely as the AppleBerry (Apple buying out RIM).

There is no doubt that RIM would culturally align better with Cisco than with Microsoft. Having two mobile platforms is a perfect recipe for disaster and Nokia is a perfect case in point, therefore I believe that Microsoft is no longer a frontrunner for RIM acquisition.

I have mixed emotions as far as Cisco-RIM deal is concerned. Blackberry integration of Flip digital camera technology is one of the many collaboration areas which can be mutually beneficial for both Cisco and RIM. Cisco could add from-facing cameras to the BlackBerry and club it into its enterprise telepresence suite. The networking giant could leverage RIM’s mobile voice system to create an entirely new business segment.

However, there are bound to be a few conflicts of interest as well. I certainly can’t see Cisco Cius and Playbook living together in harmony. In the past, John Chambers has categorically denied any interest in acquiring a smartphone company. However, analysts believe that Cisco is well-equipped to scoop RIM if the latter’s shares fall low enough to make a strong case for an objective valuation.

Coming back to the original question, should Cisco buy RIM? I don’t think so. Do I want Cisco to buy RIM? Of course not. I’m a Blackberry Fanboy and I’d love to see RIM fight it out against Apple and Google. What’s your opinion?

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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