RIM shares had shot up on rumours published yesterday by Boy Genius Report, where co-head honcho at RIM, Jim Balsillie, was pulling a Burke and Hare and attempting to sell off parts or the entirety of the company to any takers. Rigor mortis was still setting in.
The report further indicates that Samsung would be the right suitor for this sale, which has prompted a reaction today, published by Reuters, where Samsung has said it has no interest in buying RIM.
No one can blame Samsung if it lets RIM fall flat on its face.
The company has mismanaged its entire portfolio into irrelevance, in a style very akin to Stephen Elop’s new Nokia, leaving behind only two lifelines: Blackberry Messenger and Blackberry Enterprise Server. The prior is the choice du jour for the neo-anarchist crowd of today and the latter is a licence-based server software for that amazing feature of using Blackberry email on your corporate network.
The match-up would have made sense if RIM had something to offer that didn’t make Samsung look like it was going back to the dark ages.
Smartphone and tablet-wise, Samsung is very much ahead of RIM, leaving only some choice software to be picked from the over-ripe Blackberry bush. Hardly enough for the ‘$12 billion to $15 billion’ – almost twice the entire company’s market cap – that was reported.
Samsung has a strong consumer orientation and Blackberry Messenger would make a welcome addition to its portfolio, but it would not fit the bill in terms of marketing and brand management.
RIM has all but botched things by keeping its stringent Enterprise licensing (BES) scheme where, for example, companies are force-fed server software just to get a simple thing like email up and running. Their competition, however, simply accede to the use of any sort of POP3 or IMAP client you need, including Exchange, Gmail, Hotmail, Live, Yahoo and others.
The fact that the upcoming Playbook OS 2.0 ties the future of its tablet products further with the falling-out-of-grace Blackberry phones, yet still opts to not include a Blackberry Messenger feature, doesn’t help it either.
That share rise might turn out to be the peak of a very steep cliff.