RIM Looking To Stay Afloat By Selling To Samsung? [Update: No]


RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook
RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook

An interesting report from Boy Genius Report claims that Research In Motion is eyeing Samsung as its new daddy. The defunct BlackBerry-maker is apparently considering a last resort to stay afloat amid depressing sales and investor qualms.

According to BGR, Research In Motion wants to sell itself for up to $15 billion to Samsung. Considering the patent war that companies like Apple are fighting at present, Samsung could buy RIM to reinforce its patent portfolio. (Although RIM’s own portfolio may not be that valuable after all.)

As our own Vincent Messina at Cult of Android argues, buying RIM right now would be like trying to save rotten cargo from a sinking ship. Unless there’s something really incredible hidden deep within the labs at RIM, acquiring a company that has fallen short of Wall Street’s expectations quarter after quarter isn’t such a hot idea. Not to mention that the PlayBook doesn’t even have an email app yet. What does that say about a company’s relevance?

BGR suggests that Samsung could be considering RIM for BlackBerry Messenger. Such a technology would be able to help Samsung “differentiate itself inside the Android ecosystem” and possibly ride the coattails of Apple’s iMessage. The problem with such a scenario is that Samsung has already invested heavily in its own ChatON app as a cross-platform messaging solution.

Samsung is the largest smartphone maker in the U.S. It doesn’t need to take on RIM’s problems.

Buying RIM outright wouldn’t help Samsung hold off Apple and Google’s market share growth at all. As AllThingsD argues, it would make much more sense for RIM to license its BlackBerry 10 OS to Samsung for future smartphones and tablets. And even then, I have a feeling that RIM will need to bend over backwards for anyone to consider getting in bed with a company that’s had to slash the price of its tablet twice.

Update: It seems as though I spoke too soon. Reuters has just reported that Samsung has said it isn’t interested in RIM at all. After BGR’s report, RIM’s shares jumped over 10% during trading today. Someone made a nice chunk of change. (Thanks, Jeff!)