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Research In Motion … where do I begin?

The makers of BlackBerry have quite the conundrum on their hands at the moment. Despite international growth and their execs believing that things are okay within the firm, the company has done nothing but slip in US market share and lose the faith of its millions of lingering supporters. Even employees from within the company have shown their lack of support with a plethora of open letters.

In light of a rather lackluster first-quarter earnings report, RIM's sixth-largest investor pulled its entire stake. Other investors and shareholders have shown great interest in splitting up RIM's pair of CEOs and co-chairmen.

Things are clearly looking overcast in Waterloo for the BlackBerry makers. But when the leader of the biggest BlackBerry tech site, Kevin Michaluk (better known as “CrackBerry Kevin”), coins the term “RIMAGEDDON,” it's easy to see that something is fundamentally wrong with the company.

Yesterday, while I was writing about celebrities still using BlackBerrys, I stumbled upon a strange and intriguing prediction made by CB Kevin (I strongly recommend reading). Whilst sipping on his “fourth pitcher of Sangria on Canada Day,” he came to the conclusion that RIM's future will ultimately play out similarly to how things went for Palm. Instead of the buyer being HP though, this time around, it may be none other than El Goog.

Talk of a RIM buyout also started to spread after the earnings report and a six-month slide in share prices. Michaluk gave ten solid reasons supporting why Google, of all companies, will buy RIM.

Many of the supporting reasons surround enterprise and security improvements that Google could definitely use at the moment. RIM has always been known for their excellent security and they have always been the go-to solution for mobile communication for businesses around the globe. Considering RIM's recently acquired QNX software – which is much more secure, the PlayBook has yet to be "rooted" – could serve as a “drop-in replacement” for Android's Linux kernel, a large bump in security would be right around the corner after purchasing RIM. Not only that, improved security and access to RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server would dramatically change the future and probability of Android being a viable enterprise solution.

But issues with Google's Android platform run much deeper than security and enterprise relations. Some of the greatest points of controversy comes from numerous ongoing patent battles. More specifically, Microsoft and other companies have been targeting Android for patent infringement. Not only have they pursued Google, they have been targeting the individual manufacturers for like HTC and Motorola, among many others, too. As an example, HTC has to pay Microsoft royalties for manufacturing Android phones. This has led many companies question Google's tactics and their future. If Google doesn't care to protect the manufacturers who have worked so hard and played a major part in the platform's growth, their time at the top will be very limited.

Buying RIM would land Google with a solid base of mobile patents which could turn the tide for the company and avoid any future third-party manufacturer relation struggles.

Acquiring RIM, however, isn't just about solving issues and resolving a patent war. It's about the added perks of buying a weathered mobile company that has been there and done that. Both Android and BlackBerry OS are heavily Java-based. RIM has countless top notch employees that are well versed in the Java language. Not to mention, RIM has acquired graphics company The Astonishing Tribe, whom Google already has a relationship with – TAT helped with the design of the original Android 1.0 interface. And Google's fragmentation woes could dwindle with an in-house hardware maker.

And, lastly, we must not forget that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is a (un)proclaimed BlackBerry fan (he was caught on candid camera sporting a BlackBerry, even after Android released).

Although not everyone – especially not those die hard BlackBerry fans – would be on board for a Google buyout of RIM, the benefits for Google would far outweigh the bad, and at least it would mean that some aspects of the original mobile emailing device would live on through another platform rather than disappearing forever.

We must remember that RIM is not dead yet and that there is certainly still hope for the BlackBerry makers. Their fate is up in the air; they have a shareholders vote in just over a week that could entirely change the direction of the company. This is only the beginning of a million different opinion pieces on who will or should buy RIM and the start of some major changes for the company. Is it the beginning of the end? Will Google or some other big name buy them? Only time will tell …

Image via w3lab


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104 Reactions to this post

"Should Google buy Research In Motion?"


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Tony Dear III Well first thing would be the problem with google already working with HTC Samsung MOTO and LG and all of them. I think it'd be a long time before this happens but well see.
Adam Aj Sorrell An android powered blackberry...hell yea?
Raymond Nuanez Yes, because Google needs to get in on some of those patents that RIM just bought with Apple and Micro$oft. If not, M$ is going to continue to go after android phone makers! Plus BBM on android would be cool too!
Jason Vargas Yes. I Said this in a previous question. It will benefit both companies. RIM still has some good qualities that they can share with Google. And RIM should sell now that theyre worth something
Obbie Cirilo So blackberry is going to andriod?
Kevin Gray Google should buy T-Mobile...
Flako Ramirez Yes own that shit...lmao
Juan R Toro @michael in ios you need to jailbreak in order to get free paid apps in android u dont need to root(jailbreak) to get them
Ian Mcclendon I love blackberries & would like to see them survive. I always have a secret crush with em
Marx Coloma Pardon the language
Colton Savage @michael what you fail to relize is that googles hard ware and software are better than the iphones oh yeah and isn't ios copying android features now like for example the notifacation system.
Adam Anthony Crespin Coming from a current BlackBerry Tour 9630 user, yes it would be nice..
Rian Kapadia There's something called rooting @Michael
Dominique House Nah, HP should.
Tim Fuhrmann I would rather RIM die a slow, behind the times death, than get bought out by Google and have them put Android on BlackBerry phones. Eff Google and Android.
Arnulfo Aviña Torrés Might as well. RIM has dropped a lot in fame!!
Julian Casio Santana King Yes buy rim.. buy tmobile umm Idk about that one?
Humberto Cortes Heeeeelllllll no! RIM should vanish from this planet.... Who uses blackberries now days????
Gary J Krusch If BB goes away, I don't know what I will do. I do my banking on BB, it's the only OS that is secure enough. And the battery life is awesome. Screw turning off Wi-fi, GPS, Bluetooth, to squeeze out another hour on Android! Long live Blackberry!
Oliver Ojtj bye bye RIM >:)
David L. Clark RIM should dissolve into an abyss. I had a Blackberry once. Loved it! Then I got an iPhone. My friend had a newer touchscreen BB and it just doesn't compare. There is now only room for iOS and Android.
Nick Kalman No. Google would ruin it.
Shawn Towle @kyle I hope you're being sarcastic, otherwise I don't know where you are getting your info from...
Joshua Castro It would be bice, bb makes fine hardware.
Jason King I loved BBM, but Goggle is making their own BBM style messenger so forget that reason. Maybe for the patents and the security, I don’t know RIM might be a detractor who knows. I think Google is fine where it is.
Tavaris Rashaun Johnson God no I would rather see web os on BB than android.
Mahendra Narine Hell No!!!
Cory David Baxter and merge the android os with the blackberyy os
Guillermo De León Heck yeah it would be great.
Kyle James Sherman No. RIM is doing way better than Android ever will.
Brian Keith YEEEEESSSSSSS
Pierce Swan Sure why not... Why not just buy them all Google.
Joseph Aaron Williamson Yes!!! It would make the phones better.
Susie Tracey Why do people need to act like such idiots? I have an iPhone and an HTC Inspire and I love both... they each have their own distinct personalities. Go whine about something important for crying out loud!
Tony Salazar Yes...Maybe it would run better
Ki Pa Ta yes, buy it, then dump it!
Tevin Campbell Hell no apple should buy rim
Joseph Alan Richardson No, RIM are better off without Google.
Miquel van Campen It would make google & android platform much stronger if they do! BB OS will second place! if developers are willing to make much more apps that run also on andriod
Gabriel Ruppert Why would they want too
John Houda Does the Pope make the world safe for little boys from pedophiles?
Igor Rebenko hope not
Erica Reid Wow, that would be awesome!
Robbie Mga Patlang Yea get that money Google
Jesus Lopez R Well Blackberry is just a waste so yes they should buy it and close it down.
Muhammad Bin Tabassum don't need BB messenger anyway Android already has Google talk with video chat now :)
Neyaz Khan Pooooooooop
Eric Ronan Google or HP. The amount of IP patents, along with the business reputation they carry, is enough to justify the purchase.
Michael Coria de Alcala @Marx yup i am an apple fanboy and well i see your a droid fan... Ummm does it matter? Well yes upgrade yo self to an iPhone and u will see the true diff. Better ios more variety in apps! And not as crappy... And by that what i mean is that well i had a droid... Major downer! At first lightning fast! 4 months slow as balls! Another good thing about apple is that you can jailbreak it... Wich expands more in variety in apps FOR FREE!:)
Jerry Perales Hell no!
Mario Sauceda Yes android would then be a force to be reckoned with as if it isn't already :p
Muhammad Bin Tabassum Nooo...let RIM die :D
Mychael Rendón who cares, I mean really? in the evolution of products some things just die off... let it go,, it will be alright... no one will die and the earth will still turn.
Jasé Phillip nahhh... rim needs to compete in todays market even if its one device just make something happen
Jay Skee I like my RIM just like it is
Stefan Chapman That's a death wise
Marx Coloma Gtfo apple fan boy. Ur companies sales are sucking googles dick
Cristian Tomasito Should phone dog buy Engadget ?
Kris Hawley Yes why not it will make RIM better and android they don't have much to loose you can somehow stop it , the phone markets not going anywhere and we can get rid of apple for the good people of the world all there shit constantly breaks!
Derrick Mlment Johnson nope...if they arent interested in catering to people instead of business. Nope! But, it could make google a major player in the business sector... now im on the fence! LMAO! I dont know maaannn!
Jon Jerico Calanio @Michael: Keep drinking that Kool-Aid, bro.
Robert Sawyer No apple should buy it
Josh Lazenby YES! I think this would be a pretty awesome thing. I can only think good would come out of it.
Tyler Pipke Hell yes
Garrett Vincent google needs to buy SPRINT !!!!!!
Gordon Christie Yes before steve jobs does
Michael Coria de Alcala Android sucks already... They need to buy everything now... Unlike apple we make our own resources!
Charles Shell i think they should because that would keep rim alive for years:)
Robert Centennial What do you need bbm for when you have gtalk.
Sachin Swami Yes but then it could become a monopoly
Robert Centennial For what? Their part bins of old phone parts?
Saurabh Jain Yeah...finish the task asap...!!
Javante Dodds Yes, Blackberry's are down and are no longer cool. I own a BB and can't wait to get rid of it in August. It just no longer fills the smartphone crave.
Yuvi Love the only money to be made now is wit apps. Every iphone owner raves about their vast range of apps and ios. Android is the same. They hav a powerhouse os and vast array of apps. What does rim hav to offer? Bbm and free on device browsing? That will not cut it in todays market. Whatsapp messenger is exactly like bbm but works on all smart phones. So why buy rim just for bbm?
Israel Hernandez Yes! It would be an awesome combination
Jon Jerico Calanio Getting RIM would mean Google can integrate the BBM service to Android, as well as improve security measures and stability with the QNX system.
Jerry Parker Nah, i rather see RIM rise from the ashes, it always good to have competition
Jennifer DeAlmeida No! Let it sink! :)
Mathew Poynter I think they should, look what Google would gain, Blackberry. Acquiring RIM means they could use BB messanger on the Android platform and use the BB line to produce a line of "pure Google" smartphones like the Nexus
Fredrik Jonsson No, RIM should outsource the OS side to Google and keep developing hardware. Well known package with new chocolates!
Rani Hinnawi No, they're monopolizing. They need to know their limits.
Enrique BigPapi Martinez Yes because if they do so i think android will b one step closer to having a system that runs flawlessly
Gabriel Fernandez I think it would be an interesting move..
Joel Rivera Yes. And then Apple will die.
Alan Jae-Hun Yi well why not...? google already bought like 100's of other companies...
Brandon White Yes there are a few things they could take from RIM and still be that UI we all know and love.
Brad Morrison RIM seems to have made some smarter moves recently, but I think they need more to get out from under the perception of the Blackberry as a "business phone." I read an article about 6 months ago that pointed out how most smartphone makers' attempts at competition simply validate the iPhone.
Tham Ye Yang No let RIM rot slowly
Yuvi Love yes they should. Rim is doing really bad. People only buying rim cos of their bbm service. Rim is popular in south africa for their free internet and bbm gesticf, text messages, mobile internet and voice calls are too expensive so all the teenagers are blackberry crazy. People should not buy a product because of only one feature.
Hansel Starley So they could turn it into an Ad devices? No thanks.




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