First step towards the company splitting itself in two?
Shares in Canadian handset maker RIM jumped more than 4 per cent in New York last night [8th August 2012] amid speculation that Samsung may licence its latest Blackberry 10 OS – or even buy the strugggling manufacturer. Samsung was quick to deny the rumour, but it’s no secret that RIM desperately needs money with its share of the global smartphone market having fallen from around 12 per cent in Q2 last year to just under 5 per cent in 2012. Its hopes are pinned on new BB10 phones due to be released after Christmas to revive the BlackBerry brand. In June  it was reported that RIM may also be considering splitting itself into two separate parts, as did Motorola which sold off its handset side to search giant Google. According to the rumours RIM would hive off its handset manufacturing from its secure network operations service – and, if so, licensing its Blackberry software to Samsung may be the first step towards that strategy.
Only two weeks ago Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, run by the Canadian tycoon Prem Watsa who is also a RIM director, became the struggling manufacturer’s single biggest shareholder after doubling its stake.
Although the Blackberry has been knocked off its perch by Apple’s iPhone and Google Android handsets, RIM meanwhile still boasts a vast library of 11,000-plus patents, 78 million subscribers and 56 million BlackBerry Messenger users, all of which could provide any potential buyers (including Apple, Google and Microsoft) with valuable leverage.