UPDATED: see below.
Reports are circulating that Research in Motion, only days after it hired Goldman Sachs to field potential buyout bids, is looking to Samsung as a potential buyer of its BlackBerry smartphone and tablet range.
Seeing as it's clear that RIM is looking for an sell-off rather than digging its head further into the sand, the company at least is acknowledging the fact it is up the creek without a paddle.
It could be sold off for between $10--$15 billion price range, but it is not clear what exactly will be bought, or if anything will even be up for sale. Seeing as shareholders agree that the current share price should be a lot higher, it is understood that the co-chief executives are still asking for too much.
It's entirely likely, but call me a sceptic: I don't think it could or would ever happen.
The mobile network executives do not think Motorola or RIM would survive in a world where Google has yet another monopoly. Neither does ZDNet's Jason Perlow, as he discussed RIM's chances in the smartphone playing field after Google's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola.
It would not be a far off thought for Samsung to acquire the patents or the infrastructure. Samsung may be looking for other sources of revenue in light of not only the Google-Motorola merger, but also the Apple patent ding dong.
The patents and intellectual property alone would bolster Samsung's portfolio, allowing it to really take on Apple in the messaging department. Since Apple's iMessage release as part of the iOS 5 giveaway, Samsung could take the patent battle to the next level by legitimately acquiring valuable property that Apple would kill for.
But would Samsung want the overheads of running and maintaining the global backend secure messaging infrastructure that arguably RIM (and secure communication users) hold close to their chests?
I doubt it. I do see BlackBerry Messenger being a key component to the consumer end-user market. But if Samsung really wants to splurge, it could always project a long-term strategy for the infrastructure element. But Samsung already has the smartphone hardware market in the bag, and is already in Google's good books by pushing Android to tens of millions of Americans.
In my heart, it still makes logical sense for Microsoft to acquire the infrastructure, even though the vast majority would probably disagree.
Or, we could just let Canada have it, and nationalise the lot. Canada or Samsung? Actually, I think I know which I would rather place my bets on. No offence, Canada.
UPDATE: RIM's shares were up by over 10 percent by early afternoon, indicating that the markets are looking favourably on a buyout from Samsung.
UPDATE 2: Samsung has announced publicly that it has not considered nor is it interested in buying RIM, according to Reuters.
- RIM hires Goldman Sachs? Sell-off likely, but not soon
- RIM has "lost it": Shareholders call for company break-up, or sell-off
- AT&T exec: Don't count out Microsoft or RIM in smartphone race
- If no-one will save RIM, perhaps Canada should
- Jason Perlow: After Google-Motorola, what is the end game for RIM and BlackBerry?
- Mary Jo Foley: Is Microsoft's next move buying Nokia or RIM? Nah...