Samsung's problem solved: Buy RIM

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.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

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.

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