IBM said to be entering game as RIM split rumours fly

By Peter Gothard
13 Aug 2012 View Comments
A BlackBerry smartphone

IBM is considering acquiring RIM's enterprise arm, while the BlackBerry manufacturer is selling off NewBay and other minor acquisitions of its own, according to reports.

RIM seems to be avoiding speaking to the media since its Q2 financials revealed major losses, which seems to be further fanning the flames of rumour about the ailing company's future as a mobile device manufacturer.

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Bloomberg reported on Friday that IBM had made an "informal approach" to purchase the enterprise side of the business, Research in Motion Ltd. No one, said Bloomberg, wants to acquire the company in its entirety. IBM has so far refused to comment.

Meanwhile, rumours have surfaced on Reuters that RIM has expressed an intent to rid itself of cloud service provider NewBay, a company it only purchased in October 2011 for a reported $100m (£64m).

Divesting itself of NewBay, which specialises in streaming photo, video and social networking solutions for smartphones, would suggest a desire by RIM to quit the market for feature-heavy smartphones.

These two rumours put together hint at an overall impression that RIM could be repositioning itself as a hardware-only manufacturer. The company is said to be biding its time in deciding on these deals before its BlackBerry 10 operating system launches in January 2013.

RIM's CEO, Thorsten Heins, has begun a review process of how the company does its business, and has pledged to give his full focus to BlackBerry 10. However, the company cannot be blamed for reviewing its options should January's OS launch, which is currently nearing the end of development in a tight crunch period, not go as planned.

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