Amazon reportedly considered buying RIM over the summer [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Between things like having to rename BBX to BlackBerry 10, poor BlackBerry PlayBook sales and the news that BB10 handsets won't be coming until late in 2012, it seems safe to say that RIM's had a less than awesome 2011. Many folks have their own ideas on what the company should do to fix its problems, but apparently one of the things that RIM won't be doing is selling itself off. According to a report out of Reuters, Amazon began looking into a potential merger with RIM this past summer, hiring an investment bank to look into the matter. Obviously no such deal went down, though, with sources saying that Amazon never even made a formal offer. RIM's board reportedly would like to figure out the situation on its own and has told co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to ignore any options relating to a sale. Instead, the board would prefer to turn its business around using things like new phones and existing assets like BBM, as well as some restructuring.
It's not a surprise to learn that there may be some companies out there considering making an offer to buy RIM, but Amazon likely isn't one of the first outfits that'd jump to mind when you think about who might get together with the BlackBerry manufacturer. However, just because a merger didn't happen doesn't mean that Amazon and RIM are done talking, as sources indicate that the two firms are working on ways to grow their commercial ties. As for RIM's future? If it insists on doing things all alone, hopefully it's got some pretty great things up its sleeve. After all, who knows what kind of heat we'll be seeing from the likes of Android, iOS and Windows Phone by the time that BlackBerry 10 smartphones begin arriving next year.
UPDATE: Sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal have indicated that Amazon isn't the only company to have weighed a potential purchase of RIM as of late. The sources allege that Microsoft and Nokia recently considered making a joint bid for the BlackBerry manufacturer, but that the status of the discussions right now isn't known. However, it's said that executives from all three companies regularly meet to talk about their partnerships and the rest of the industry. The WSJ's sources also indicated that RIM execs have approached other smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung and HTC, about licensing the BlackBerry OS. Crazy!