Samsung seen as player in RIM's future - again

Purchase or license deal for BlackBerry 10 seen, Jefferies analyst says

Samsung is considering buying Research in Motion or licensing RIM's BlackBerry 10 operating system, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a note to investors this week.

"Among other options, we believe Samsung is considering ramping up its internal OS development efforts, licensing BB10 or buying RIM," Misek wrote. "We think any acquisition is unlikely until after BB10 launches." That launch is set for January 2013.

Misek's comment sparked news reports and comments from other analysts, including some who don't think Samsung will benefit much from a RIM acquisition.

"I think a Samsung acquisition of RIM is unlikely because the restructuring would be more complicated than Samsung's just sticking with what they have and pulling business away from RIM," said Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner who has followed RIM for decades.

"The answer is still no. This is about the 1 millionth time this Samsung buying RIM rumor has gone round," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.

Gold said Samsung is already well into making the Android OS for smartphones and tablets work securely for enterprise customers, so it would have little to gain from the enterprise qualities of RIM software and BlackBerry 10.

"It would not ultimately be a successful merger," Gold added.

Asked about the Jefferies comment, a RIM spokeswoman said the company would not respond to rumors or speculation. A Samsung spokeswoman said, "Samsung is going to politely decline to comment."

Regarding licensing of BB10 by Samsung, Gold said Samsung wouldn't gain much from that either. "BlackBerry still sells a lot of phones in other markets besides the U.S., but compared to what Samsung sells in Android, it's a small number," he said.

RIM licensed its BlackBerry Connect product years ago, "but it never took off for several reasons," Gold added.

Dulaney reasoned that BB10 "could be of some use to Samsung" but only subject to several factors. One big factor would be if Samsung abandoned Android, due to fears it might lose out to Motorola's Android, now that Motorola is part of Google.

"RIM is still the fourth ecosystem -- behind Apple, Google and Microsoft -- so getting the RIM platform to be viable takes more than just producing devices," Dulaney said.

RIM might reveal more of its plans with Samsung or licensing BlackBerry 10 at its next earnings call on Sept. 27, Misek said.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

Read more about smartphones in Computerworld's Smartphones Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?