Is RIM mulling the sale of its hardware business?
Blackberry maker RIM is considering the sale of its once dominant hardware unit, according to the Sunday Times.
Last month the ailing former king of enterprise phones brought in two banks, JP Morgan Chase & Co and RBC Capital Markets, to analyse the company’s options and help it beat a path back to healthy profit.
One of these options appears to be splitting the business in two and selling off the once lucrative hardware side, leaving the other half free to concentrate on areas like automotive, messaging and its nifty mobile device management platform Blackberry Fusion.
A number of potential buyers were mentioned in the Sunday Times article, which didn’t cite any sources for its claims. Facebook and Amazon were among the potential suitors, though it wasn’t entirely clear why, or what either might do with it.
However, while RIM’s share price took a whack on Monday following the split rumours, the company chiefs were still banking on the launch of its new operating system Blackberry 10 later this year to turn things around.
It may be a vain hope, and some have suggested that it’s possibly too little too late. With consumers holding off buying Blackberry products immediately ahead of the BB10 launch, RIM’s quarterly performance update on Thursday isn’t likely to contain any startlingly good news.
Following another executive reshuffle earlier this year, disappointing product launches and a generally torrid time that’s seen the company lose a lot of ground on iOS and Android smartphones, RIM chiefs have repeatedly said they’re committed to executing their plan to turn the company around.
They’ve given nothing away with regard to the Sunday Times claims, but this point it would appear that all options are, rightly, on the table.