updated 06:25 pm EST, Tue December 20, 2011
RIM refused outside help from Amazon
RIM rejected an attempt from Amazon to buy it out this summer, leaks uncovered on Tuesday. Amazon had brought on an investment bank to explore the financials of a possible acquisition of the BlackBerry designer, Reuters heard, but was turned down. RIM executives instead wanted to solve the company's own problems and also thought that the company's poor recent performance might spook possible buyers.
"Until you stabilize the platform, people are going to be very nervous about spending $10 billion or more," a contact said.
HTC and Samsung may considered the possibility but rejected any possibilities outright. The two depend primarily on Android for their smartphone business and were said to not see any value in picking what for them would be a third or fourth platform.
RIM also purportedly believed that it would be in a better position to take advantage of its push e-mail and BlackBerry Messenger technology than an outsider. The Waterloo, Ontario company may now even consider some of the outside talk as a nuisance and may have shut out investment and private equity groups that were "distracting," one contact described.
Takeover talk hasn't stopped, but current discussions are thought to center on companies hoping that RIM sinks further so they can buy it at a cheaper price.
Talk of an Amazon deal wouldn't necessarily be out of the question. Amazon is already using some of the base components of the BlackBerry PlayBook in the Kindle Fire and shares the same factory. While Amazon would have little use for BlackBerry 7, it might also see BlackBerry Tablet OS and the eventual BlackBerry 10 as ways to get an in-house OS that Microsoft can't demand a license for, as with Android.
Amazon's home focus would have likely marked the gradual end of the BlackBerry phone, since it likely wouldn't want to support RIM's enterprise customers. It may, however, have accelerated tablet plans by dropping the need for BlackBerry push mail and other features it wouldn't need.