Samsung's problem solved: Buy RIM

Samsung's problem solved: Buy RIM

Summary: With Samsung's mobile device debacle and RIM's "For Sale by Owner" situation cresting at the same time, it would be wise to merge the two for success.


RIM says it's looking for a buyer and Samsung needs a mobile presence. Voila! Problem solved. Samsung should buy RIM and acquire its Blackberry brand. RIM's stock hit a 5-year high in June 2008 at $144.56 and sort of corrected and levelled out in the $60 to $70 range for the two years between March 2009 and March 2011. Since March 2011, its value has fallen off to its current low point of about $6.50. It's truly tragic for RIM and the Blackberry mobile device. Equally tragic, for Samsung, is the outcome of the recent patent lawsuits by Apple. Can tradgedies such as these beget a new successful mobile revival for the two companies?


That "Yes" should be sufficient but I know that for many onlookers, it isn't. Therefore, I'll explain myself.

You see, Samsung has some of the best products on the market for your home, car and personal life and that includes their lines of mobile products. Lawsuit results notwithstanding, Samsung has some very innovative and creative ideas and products.

RIM's Blackberrys were once the envy of every cell phone user because of its full keyboard, cool tap screen features and its incredible service--a couple major glitches aside incredible service. The Blackberry phone was the coolest and best thing to hit the mobile market since probably the original truly portable cell phone.

So, what happened? 

Well, you know the Samsung story but the RIM story is a bit more interesting.

Fortune Magazine named RIM as 2009's fastest growing company and now it's at the brink of bankruptcy and "exploring its options."

The primary problem is that RIM didn't change fast enough to satisfy users. Apple's iPhone 3 and the App Store made a larger impact than RIM planned for. RIM also didn't foresee the Android market booming as it has. From what was once the best of the best, has now taken a distant third place and falling farther behind the leaders all the time.

The answer to its fall from grace is that it failed to change with the times. Someone built a better mousetrap and RIM didn't respond with an even better one.

The lesson here is that you must continue to innovate. Blackberry users were, and still are, among the most faithful of all--I should know, I once was part of that ilk. But, like millions of other users, once I saw the iPhone, I had to have one. No buttons. It was slick and sleek. It was now and it's what users wanted. And, still do.

RIM was slow to create an App Store. RIM still hasn't lost the buttons.

You have to change with the times or become a part of ancient history in tech. You have to give users what they want. The old Russia-style mentality of "They buy what we make" is outdated. Users now drive the innovation bus. We, the customers now control the horizontal and the vertical in the market. Hardware and software companies have to give us what we want or we simply click away. It's that simple.

Samsung has its finger on the consumer pulse and RIM needs a buyer for its still pretty darn good products. It's a match made in tech heaven.

And, I'm not the first to make this observation. Samsung and RIM would be a good fit because one fills a gap in the other's business. With Samsung's consumer knowhow and Blackberry's security features, they could swing things back the other way for the failing platform and for Samsung's mobile division.

What do you think? Do you think that a marriage between RIM and Samsung would be a good thing or an ill-fated combination? Talk back and let me know.

Topics: Samsung, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • LOL!

    Ill-fated combination all the way.
    William Farrel
  • This is a joke, right?

    Samsung waited until Apple proved a market for a stylish smartphone and then, copied it. RIM watched Apple prove a market for a stylish smartphone and didn't copy it.

    Their common factor: No investment in original design or market responsiveness. Samsung, like many Asian companies, has great skill in refining and enhancing the products of their Japanese competitors, which is why Sony is in a world of hurt today. What they are MUCH less good at doing is inventing wholly new products, like Apple.

    All you have to do is look at the Korean education system to see Samsung's no solution to RIM's problems. And all you have to do is look at the lethargy and risk aversion in the RIM culture and you see they're no solution to Samsung's problems.

    The whole would be less than the sum of the parts.
    • why not

      just claim, as usual that crapple invented everything and not spend so much time typing. It would be as accurate.
      • His analysis is correct

        The fact you personally don't like it is is irrelevant.
        • Looks

          like everyone agrees with you Mr. Baggins.....
    • your comment too generalized

      In a sense, I agree with you, but I think you generalized Asia and Korean companies too much. From long time ago, China and Korea invented many things apart from Western influence. Korea created a whole new writing system, and now they can type every combination of word with 10 keys.

      for electronics, Samsung and LG had talking laundry wash machines a decade ago while Whirlpool and GE had buzzers. Those companies arose from ashes after 1953 while these American companies are way older than that.

      You can't just generalize. Everybody is guilty of copying in some way if it would be considered guilty.

      I just think you meant that RIM is in very deep sht beyond even above average companies would have a slim chance of saving them.
    • Copied smartphone?

      I had a Palm touch-screen PDA/phone in the late '90s with wireless synchronization before the iPhone was a wet dream. But, I'm sure that Apple didn't copy that idea... In fact, only the latest iPhone finally had wireless synchronization, where other platforms had it for many years.

      I also had a Motorola StarTac flip phone that doubled as a 14.4k modem with a RIM piggy-back PDA that synchronized with the phone's contacts.

      Patent's or not, Apple did not invent most of the stuff they claim to have invented.

      On that note, I also have an IBM ThinkPad touch-screen tablet that's running Windows 2000 -- commercially sold long before Apple even considered "inventing" the iPad.

      Apple didn't invent the "app store" either -- they purchased it from another company in 2000.

      So, where's all of the fanboy-claimed innovation? I see only copying (or buying) existing technology. Oh, that's right -- when Apple copies, it labels it "reinvented" and believes that it deserves a patent.
    • Samsung copied whom?

      Please, get the facts straight and then start commenting, or else ~thumbs down~
    • "inventing wholly new products, like Apple"

      Apple inventing wholly new products? There is so much oversight in remarks like this its funny. Apple wasn't the first to the touchscreen smartphone market so thats not what you could be talking about. And not mp3 players, either. What Apple is good at doing is taking a previously invented product, developing a better one, and marketing it exceptionally well. One touchscreen smartphone released before the iPhone was the LG KE850 Prada. Cnet even has a video review on it.

      As for the original topic. I doubt it myself that Samsung would benefit from purchasing RIM if not for its patent portfolio.

      Retirement In Motion.
    • Inventing wholly new products....

      Are you referring to the iPhone, in which they took an iPod touch and shoved a cellular circuit inside it? The mobile phone, touchscreen and even music player parts being invented by pretty much everyone else including the likes of Samsung .....
      • Wasn't the iPod touch

        released after the iPhone?
  • freelance engineer

    why would samsung buy a company that is losing money bigtime? now if samsung were to buy just the property in waterloo that might be a wise choice. I dont think samsung would want to tarnish their reputation by joining Rim, but aquiring the infrastructure to manufacture samsung products, that would be good move. pumping more money into Rim or joining wont make their product any better. as a consumer i dont care who joins rim or buys Rim, either the product is good or it isn't. i offered to help Rim but they think they know it all. well Rim it seems that you don't or your stock would not continue to fall. what bugs me the most is that Rim executives are still making big money whereas the company is losing bigtime. so tell me are they really looking out for the company or themselves?? when i was in school we were not allowed to copy from others,we had to be creative on our own. why dont Rims exe's do the same thing? i know why coz its a no brainer to copy then to work hard at creativity and innovation but yet they still get big pay oh brother, this is the reason why investors are shying away from Rim. when ever your ready Rim. have a nice day, regards, Freelance Eng. (designer of smartphone tech)
    Dave Hargraves
    • RIM has no manufacturing capacity

      They've always outsources. For most of their existence, that has been with Celestica, but that agreement/relationship is coming to an end.

      There are some potential upsides. Increased patent shielding for Samsung at a reasonable price, a possible OS to diversify into, and a possible customer for their manufacturing services and parts. For RIM, the upside would be breathing space as they try to "get it together" and make the BB10 launch.
    • He's not

      talking about joining RIM, he said buy them. Use the security patents and forget the bad mistakes.
      • Patents "worth less than you would think" - CNBC analysts

        It you extracted their security technology out, it would leave a shell. Like Kodak patents. Not long before you see the stream of parachutes like you saw from a B-17 with its engines on fire...
      • freelance engineer

        hate to break this to you tim but Rims patents are probably out of date, what i mean by that is the rate of technology advancement their so called security feature is old tech apple and android security feature is probably up to date and far more advanced then Rims
        Dave Hargraves
  • WebOS?

    1) ready made, unique system, in dire need of hardware and manufacturer support and R&D
    2) Cloud ready, multiple device capable, supposing, of course that Apothecker wasn't a complete liar
    3) excellent wireless printer support
    4) Bargain-basement price from HP, who desperately needs cash
    • A system that has been sitting on a shelf for over a year...

      ...with the design team disbanded. That isn't a good place to start.

      I agree that Samsung needs to hedge its bets, with Apple going after so many manufacturers using Google's Android OS, but I doubt that webOS is a cornerstone of a viable business strategy.
    • a system with

      no dev support at all, even when HP was still pumping money into it
      • Web O/S support

        Almost all the development was from the W O/S development froup. HP version worked if you included theeir extensions. Thhe lack of Competent Support was purely HP.