Shares of Research in Motion (NASDAQ:
) soared in the pre-market on Tuesday, after the company's CEO,
Thorsten Heins, told a German paper that RIM would consider
strategic alliances, including the possibility of a sale of its
hardware production unit and/or licensing out its software.
RIM's shares were up over 9 percent at one point, but
subsequently corrected a bit lower.
Heins' comments should come as no surprise. Last May, RIM
announced that it had hired J.P. Morgan and RBC Capital to help
the company review its business operations.
Since then, the focus has shifted. More have trumpeted a
successful BlackBerry 10 as a the first step in a revitalized
RIM. As that thesis has dominated the market, shares of RIM have
rallied notably, more than doubling since hitting a low near $6
Still, there have been signs all along that BB10 was a gambit
intended to facilitate a sale of RIM. Consider that the first
BlackBerry 10 models lacked RIM's characteristic keyboard, a
feature which endeared the handset maker to many business
The question is, would any other company have an interest in
RIM either from the hardware or the software side?
On the hardware side, it might interest Microsoft (NASDAQ:
) or Amazon (NASDAQ:
). Both companies have recently entered the hardware game despite
their primary businesses being in completely different
In fact, some tech reviewers noted the similarity between
Amazon's original Kindle Fire and RIM's BlackBerry playbook.
the devices "hauntingly similar" from a hardware perspective.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has begun to manufacture its own
devices running Windows -- in sharp contrast to its decades old
strategy of focusing strictly on software. Its first computer,
the Surface tablet, was released in October and has been followed
up with the Surface Pro. Microsoft has said that it would
consider entering the phone game if its partnership with Nokia
) went asunder.
As for RIM's software, and the potential of licensing it out,
Samsung might come to mind. Although there has been nothing
potent to substantiate it, there has been widespread speculation
that Samsung may be growing tired of its reliance on Google
) for its smartphone business.
Samsung has risen to be a dominating player, becoming the
world's largest smartphone maker. If it wants to weaken its
reliance on Google's Android, it might consider adding BB10 to
Shares of RIM traded near $17 on Tuesday.
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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