Will RIM be Bought Out?

by Matt Klassen on August 26, 2011

For many it seems to be an inevitability; the fact that Waterloo’s Research in Motion will eventually be acquired in what would be one of the biggest mobile mergers in history. More to the point, some analysts have gone so far as to predict the demise of the Blackberry maker, prophesying that RIM will not live long into 2013 as an independent entity.

Perhaps such predictions seem far-fetched, as Blackberry continues to be the phone of choice for enterprise customers and hardcore texters the world over, but while RIM continues to hold on to its enterprise base (for now), its quickly losing ground among average consumers, as both Android and Apple phones are clearly the more popular choices.

Further, with a seemingly bloated and inept management team, one that has demonstrated time and again its inability to innovate in the market or gauge consumer interest, it’s becoming more and more likely that RIM will eventually be bought out in some sort of hostile takeover bid, which begs the question, who’s buying?

If there’s one thing that HP’s acquisition of Palm last year has shown us, it’s that not every acquisition is a good one. Acquiring a company is not simply about capital, about patent portfolios, or about market share, it’s about compatibility—will the two newly merger companies complement each other, or will it be difficult to incorporate the technology, customers, and workforce of the acquired company into its new corporate family?

When it comes to developing a list of potential suitors for RIM, it should come as no surprise that a few market mainstays sit firmly entrenched at the top, Google and Microsoft. Both companies would have much to gain by acquiring RIM’s enviable patent portfolio, not to mention essentially acquiring a lion’s share of a mobile enterprise sector that neither company has had much success infiltrating of late.

Analysts across the Web have propounded cases for each potential suitor, with some arguing that Google would be the best fit because it could utilize key Blackberry features—like the keyboard for instance—in its Motorola devices, while potentially spinning off the Blackberry itself to one of its Android partners. In the Microsoft camp, the argument is that the PC giant has its fingers in every other mobile pie, so it would make sense to grab RIM as well.

Of course there are detractors for each and every theory as well, counter-arguments that state that Microsoft has no need of RIM’s intellectual property and neither company needs the headache that comes with managing two distinct mobile ecosystems.

Then there are the dark horse candidates, like Samsung for instance, who has already make public its intention of entering the enterprise mobility market and has experience managing multiple mobile operating systems. Beyond that, there’s a host of Asian mobile companies like Huawei, Lenovo, or ZTE who would want to acquire RIM for its established global brand.

While we learned through the acquisition of Palm that not every acquisition is a match made in heaven, we also learned that despite endless amounts of speculation acquisition stories have a tendency to surprise, although the real surprise would be if we actually saw RIM recover…now that would be a story!

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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RIM, gli investitori premono su BlackBerry - The New Blog Times
October 13, 2011 at 4:28 am


Cam Canada August 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Great article, like the thought.

Please replace “compliment” with “complement”, though, as: no matter how many compliments get paid to each other during the acquisition process, compliments beget ego beget “bloated and inept management teams”.

Matt Klassen August 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Thanks for the correction Cam.

Alex December 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

Hope it happens. The stock needs to soar, so I can sell!

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