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Analysis suggests RIM might not be worth buying, even with a user base of 80 million

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:37PM EST

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It’s long been assumed that if RIM (RIMM) didn’t succeed with BlackBerry 10 that the company would be either bought up whole by a larger company or chopped up and sold for parts. But Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha has told AllThingsD that RIM may have no other option but to swim with BlackBerry 10 because no company will want to take on the hassle of buying it up in the wake of HP’s (HPQ) bungled Palm acquisition.

“Any deal for [the] company is highly complex in our view, requiring simultaneous management of a declining business, as well significant restructuring, and as such an acquirer maybe be best advised to wait for [the company] to shrink meaningfully before making any potential move,” Garcha said. “A break up is possible… [But] we question the quality of the underlying patent portfolio and also believe that converting RIM’s existing network operations center for other OS platforms may require a high level of effort for minimal functionality improvement.”

RIM is far from a worthless company, of course, as it has an estimated subscriber base of 80 million around the world. But acquiring RIM wouldn’t just mean taking on the BlackBerry brand, its operating system and its patents: It would also mean taking on the company’s network operations center (NOC) that it uses to securely transmit email, as well as its BlackBerry Enterprise Server business. Or put another way, buying up RIM and integrating its products into another portfolio would mean managing a lot of complex moving pieces that many companies simply lack the expertise to handle effectively.

RIM had better hope that BlackBerry 10 really does lead to a major comeback, then, because its other options don’t look all that appetizing.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.


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