Why RIM Should Not Sell the BlackBerry Brand--and Why It Should

Recent rumors suggest tech heavies including Microsoft, Nokia and Amazon have all been courting RIM and considering a BlackBerry buyout. CIO.com's Al Sacco offers up two simple reasons why RIM would be wise to resist such a takeover, as well as two more reasons the BlackBerry maker might be ripe for a sale.

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Thu, December 22, 2011

CIO — Rumors about a potential sale of BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) have been circulating for months, due largely to the Canadian company's ongoing struggles to retain its place in the competitive mobile market and compete with the likes of Apple, Google and others.

RIM HQ In Waterloo, Ontario with For Sale Sign

This week, those rumors came to head when news broke that Microsoft and Nokia have considered making a joint bid for RIM and the BlackBerry brand. And Amazon.com also reportedly reached out to RIM about the possibility of a takeover or partnership, though RIM supposedly quickly refused.

As a BlackBerry watcher and loyal RIM customer, I've always kept a close eye on the company and its options for the future. Whether or not you believe the most recent BlackBerry buyout rumors, one thing about the BlackBerry maker is crystal clear: RIM is in trouble and some drastic changes are in order if the company hopes to ever regain a semblance of the success it had in the mid-to-late 2000s--and an all-out BlackBerry buyout could potentially be in the cards for RIM.

What follows are two good reasons why RIM should refuse any BlackBerry buyout offers, and two reasons RIM might want to sell the BlackBerry brand post haste.

Why RIM Should Stay Its Course and Refuse a Buyout

The Potential Promise of BlackBerry 10

RIM is about to roll out a brand new smartphone OS, which could potentially reignite consumer interest in the brand. If--and it's a big If--RIM is able to successfully steal consumer attention away from Apple and Google and eventually woo enough developers to start building an impressive app catalogue for BlackBerry 10, the OS launch could breathe new life into the Canadian company.

RIM could also potentially license BlackBerry 10 or other future BlackBerry software to additional hardware manufacturers, if it's able to convince those manufactures that consumers really want BlackBerry software. Right now, it doesn't really make sense for device makers to license RIM's software since consumer demand for it is diminishing. But a successful BlackBerry 10 launch could turn the tables.

It's possible that BlackBerry 10 could be the stepping stone RIM needs to get back on track, and as such, it makes sense for RIM to resist buyout offers and focus on making BlackBerry 10 a success.

RIM and the Enterprise

RIM still has a strong foothold in the enterprise, which is nothing to scoff at; businesses spend big bucks on enterprise mobility software, and RIM's BES is still a solid source of income for the BlackBerry maker.

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