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Rumor: RIM considering splitting business into two divisions

RIM office
By Adam Zeis on 24 Jun 2012 12:27 pm EDT
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Update: RIM has issued this statement regarding the situation:

"RIM has hired advisers to help the Company examine ways to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives. As Thorsten said on the Company's fourth-quarter earnings call, ‘We believe the best way to drive value for our stakeholders is to execute on our plan to turn the company around.' This remains true." 

According to The Sunday Times, Research in Motion may now be considering a split into two separate divisions. The split would break off their handset manufacturing division and message network into two separate entities. RIM may then look to sell the handset division with potential buyers like Facebook or Amazon, or even sell or open up their messaging network to generate additional income. Another option would be to keep the business as one and possibly sell to a larger company like Microsoft. No sources were cited for the information but this could be a viable option for RIM in their current state.

What do you think - would splitting things into two be a good move at this point? Sound off in the comments!

Source: Reuters

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Rumor: RIM considering splitting business into two divisions

124 Comments

VERY POSITIVE NEWS!

I have been saying this for many many months now, here on CB, N4BB and Twitter.

And this week at BB Jam in Toronto, I sat a table with Chris U and we discussed this very topic. We both had very good arguments and opinions, here are some of mine.

RIM NEEDS TO EXIT THE HARDWARE BUSINESS!

Increased labour costs, increased input prices, lower revenues and tanking margins makes RIM's hardware division not profitable.

Research In Motion is going through a transition like never before. Having lived in Waterloo for over 15 years, I have watched RIM from pretty much infancy to global smartphone leader to where we are now (struggling to compete in this market with the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc).

Research In Motion has built some great phones throughout the years; the Curve, Bold, Pearl, Storm, Torch, Style series. Albeit some were poorly executed on (ie. Storm) and some never fit into the current market (Style). But most were winners. The BlackBerry Bold is one of the greatest QWERTY smartphones every created, to this day. The BlackBerry Torch was a great way for RIM to incorporate the QWERTY keyboard into a touchscreen slider. The Curve, probably the most successful consumer smartphone RIM created. But as the years went on, competition increased, input prices increased (commodities), costs of labour increased (worldwide); it has proved to become too expensive for RIM to manufacture hardware. I know the truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but this is a fact.

YEAR OVER YEAR, GROSS MARGINS FROM HARDWARE SALES ARE TANKING AT RIM!

Gross margins are the percent of total sales revenue that the company retains after incurring the direct costs associated with producing these goods. Therefore, the higher the percentage the more RIM makes from each dollar of sales.

On a GAAP basis, hardware gross margins of Research In Motion:

42% FY 2010
36% FY 2011
20% FY 2012

Now introduce less revenue on hardware, year over year, and you have RIM losing money on the manufacturing and selling of hardware!

Look at the competition out there, Apple (with FoxConn), Google (now with Motorola), HTC, LG, Samsung, Microsoft (with Nokia). And smartphones are becoming cheaper and cheaper each year, while input costs and labour keeps on rising.

Solution: Research In Motion needs to exit the hardware business

SOFTWARE IS THE WAY TO GO

Research In Motion purchased QNX Systems from Harman International over two years ago. They have had time to develop it into a mobile operating system that can actually compete with iOS, Android, WinPhone. And not only that, they have an OS that can be used across many different applications and industries (Automobile, Airplane to name a few).

They have been spending a lot of money on the new QNX-based BlackBerry operating system. From the design process, to attracting developers, to building the tools to develop for this OS.

It is clear now, the focus is on software. They also have their services business which has high margins and makes them approx. $1B per quarter. They also have many patents.

RIM needs to exit the hardware business, focus on software, innovate their services (a long the lines of what Balsillie had in mind) and cash in on their patents (either through patent selling, licensing or even trolling).

RIM is going to look very different a year from now, and it will be better for the company and for consumers!

Thanks for reading my comment.
Martin...

If you would like to hear more of my analysis on RIM, please follow me on Twitter (@SurrealCivic)

i`ll agree software is the future, but (and this is a huge but) who would run BB10 software? who would step in and license an unproven software? bear in mind that WP7/8, Android, Tizen and WebOS are all open for much anyone to use. you`ll see how well `software only` has gone for webOS.
It IS possible to go software only i agree, but this can ONLY happen when your software has established itself, or you can make a profit without the software.

Ask yourself, what would RIM`s income be if they removed BB hardware right now?

also, to paraphrase steve jobs, those who are serious about their software should make thier own hardware

Very good question. Who would license BB10? Who would run this software on their phones?

A company that sees a bleak future in the software platform that they are currently using. A software platform that is highly fragmented, has poor content (low quality but high quantity of apps in the app store), and specifically a software platform that will soon be squeezing out the competition. I am talking about Samsung and them using Android.

Google clearly didn't purchase Motorola just for their patents. They also purchased Motorola so they can produce their own version of Android on their own hardware, taking control of the software platform and eventually the content. This does NOT make Samsung happy. Samsung sold approx. 220million units last year, but they do not have a software platform to call their own.

Samsung can license BlackBerry OS 10, still be able to sell millions of handsets to consumers and also make a big splash in the enterprise market.

but samsung has big interests in Tizen, hence me mentioning it. otherwise yes there could be something to it.

i cant see its a very good idea though, webOS couldnt do it, and that was a platform already in use, BB10 isnt in market so what chance would that have?

plus given that most of Mobile Fusion only works on BB software, the current software income would be low at best. it would be a good option in a year or two if BB10 captures some market traction, but an OS with no phone share? dont see it workin out well.

First of all I would like to say that this type of discussion is great, much better than the constant phone bashing. I would have to agree with BBThemes in that it doesn't seem like the right time to split the division and license BB10. My main concern with this split would have to do with how the company is perceived outside of N.A. If RIM were to split and sell the hardware, they would lose all the markets around the world were they have a strong hold. I understand that BB10 being licensed could help keep their market share up in those countries, but it would be, for example, people deciding to buy Samsung with BB10 or a Samsung with Android. That is a concern I would see with selling the hardware division.

@SurrealCivic
First of all, I'm not sure people would want to build hardware with BB. BB10 is still an unknown OS. I think it would need to be out for a year or 2 B4 someone would bite. B4 Google built Android they had a consortium of something like 26 companies.

You mentioned that Android is highly fragmented. If RIM were to start selling BB10 to different companies then it too would become fragmented. Another thing to consider would be BB's famous battery life. A big reason that it's so good is that the software is configured for the hardware....They would lose this...And BB's reputation for quality would go down. Now then, if RIM were to license their OS to just Samsung, these issues would not be as big of a deal (look at M$ & Nokia working together) BUT that would make RIM very dependent on a company that doesn't really need them & would like to one day have their own OS. Why do you think M$ picked Nokia? Because they knew they needed M$.

If you look at the trend these days, the companies that are doing the best are the ones who control both software & hardware.

Let’s see how BB10 does B4 splitting RIM.

btw fun fact, Microsoft makes more on Android then Google.

Agreed. . .RIM's network and innovative BB10 software + Samsung's hardware connections and manufacturing know-how = Apple killer any day!

RIM would outsource the hardware manufacturing to someone else. Apple, Google and Microsoft do this already. Apple outsources to China, Google to various partners (HTC, LG, Motorala, Samsung, etc.) and Microsoft to Nokia. Google and Microsoft do it as licensing. Apple takes an approach that is more likely the way RIM would do it. Simply outsource the manufacturing to a separate entity.

This would wipe a lot of overhead that is weighing down on RIM's financal statements.

Let us review :
“I will not in anyway split this up or separate this into different businesses. Now on the licensing piece. I’m absolutely confident that BlackBerry 10 will prove itself as a platform. If there is requests coming towards Research In Motion to talk about licensing that platform to other companies I will entertain those discussions, I will listen, I will access the business opportunity for RIM and if it makes sense strategically and tactically to go down that path, and then I will make the decision together with the board. It’s not my focus one. My focus one is to strengthen RIM’s business based on that integrated approach.”
Don't know about you - but that's what I'm going with...

Thanks for the two-bit strategy/analysis.

Excellent BB10 features will sell hardware. RIM can make a profit from it.

i understand where you're coming from but i still think they're troubles are all related to software. sure they're hardware division is struggling but why is that? BB10 just in case you didnt know isn't out.

anyways, do you have this comment saved or something LOL. I've read what you've posted probably 3 times already!!

Yes, most of their troubles are software and BB10 will remedy that...and if they can modernize the software side they can/will also produce state-of-the-art hardware.

Their hardware business is most likely only top-level design and assembly. That should be in-house!

The same long comment you are spamming here with for quite some time. Basically, you say Apple could ditch their HW manufacturing and start relying on SW only, which is ridiculous.

A strong comapany should keep the software and hardware to make products better, Google acquired Motorolato to make their own hardware, and Microsoft is making their own tablet, they re trying to evolve and make better products, Rim will commit a big mistake if they sold the hardware business, if they sold it, it will be a weakness and they will lose the competition, Im right, like allways steve jobs said: "if you're serious about the software you have to make your own hardware" Rim just needs some time to back to the competition !

@SurrealCivic, You have a very good point on RIM hardware losing money. The PlayBook 16 GB model is actually losing them money. However, when you look at where most of their money comes from, the vast majority of revenues are still in hardware, something like 78% from the most recent fiscal quarter. Only like a tiny percent comes from software. The problem with software is that it is almost impossible to compete since Google Android is close to free. Android makes money off of its extensive ads system, which they made multiple acquisitions to make effective. RIM does not have the existing ad infrastructure to be able to compete with Android.

It is so sad that things are turning out this way for RIM. I just think there is a better way out of this then to sell their hardware division, because that's their bread and butter. RIM will be ghost of its former self with this move. And with this move, how will this affect the launch of their new BB 10 phones? I'm just sad to see RIM go out like this.

@surreal stop posting this goop. youve mentioned this a million times in multiple comments and its getting repetitive. WE GET YOUR POINT OF VIEW now stop repeating yourself please and thanks.

Right! The would relies on RIM and Blackberry to get through all of this and they will. So SHUT-UP media!!!

Agreed, RIM needs a last chance. BlackBerry 10 looks promising but we will see if they can deliver a quality product! Go RIM

+1.
Also, given the accuracy of media reportage on RIM thus far,
I would question the veracity of this story...

Totally agree.

There is simply way that moving out of making hardware would work well for blackberry, it would functionally destroy their brand. Blackberries have a look and a feel and users love what they are. I will go to the barricades for my portrait keyboard. No-one else can do it right damnit.

It would be exactly the same as Apple saying they won't make iPhone hardware, and other people can just use the OS. It's literally exactly that, except that tech journalists aren't constantly bitching about apple.

Without the hardware platform (and lets not delude ourselves, apples hardware isn't actually that great. Certainly not compared to the bleeding edge android phones, in terms of raw power) iOS is just icons that you poke at to make things happen.

Removing the OS from the hardware breaks the magic. An iPhone is an iPhone because of the complete package. There's no way that (for example) an HTC phone running iOS selling 5 million units in a month. Because its just an HTC phone with a marginally different look to it.

The open nature of android is actually its big problem because of fragmentation. Android is not (in real terms) a platform. Each manufacturer has its own eco system, its own ten different devices with different versions and different front ends strapped on. That's why we never see ads for 'Android', its always for HTC or Samsung or whoever.

However, I don't have a problem with RIM opening up BIS (or its future BB10 offspring) and the associated awesomeness like BBM and what have you to other platforms. That would be a place where you could make some serious money. Blackberry has serious credibility in terms of secure messaging, and particularly for companies that are running on BBs atm, but who have employees that want to use their own phones... I mean, you pretty much HAVE to get that stuff on your phone.

Personally though, I think this is all just pure crap. Journalists spreading crap around because it was a quiet day and no-one has bitched about RIM in a while.

My feelings are that if RIM dies, they will go out doing things the way they are doing it now; putting out their own hardware, their own OS. Even if BB10 bombs and RIM has to call it a day, they'll go out with a bang, not a whimper. And this sort of crap about getting out of the hardware market would be a whimper. It would be a slow, painful death.

And yes, Steve Jobs was right when he said that those who make good software should make their own hardware.

When you make both, you control the eco system. You can make things that are greater than the sum of their parts by having a team who can leverage every single last drop of resources, by integrating everything in interesting ways and simply being able to build software that is specialized for the hardware. That's why iPhones and blackberries don't have 2ghz processors and yet somehow get comparable performance to top end android phones. Those droid phones are built off of generic OS that can't directly leverage everything in the hardware.

If a split between Hardware and Software happens (and that's a BIG IF. . .) I don't see it happening till after the first BB10 phone is launched. . .

I agree but who would want to buy a new phone and be locked in for 2 years with news that it would be possible in 6 months the new device would be out of production and no help to be had. Before I buy anything from Rim again there has got to be some dust settling going on.

I don't know but I do know they need to release BB10 to please the masses and BB10 with keyboard to please us users.

Isn't this what Jim B planned to do?

RIM becoming a group makes sense, with elements of the company focussing on their specific needs - QNX is a working example right now.

But not wanting to draw Palm comparisons - remembe PalmSource and PalmOne? It was a massive fail when they split the business this way.

I came here just to post the Palm comparison. I think it would be a massive mistake to split hardware and software.

Jim B didn't want to split Hardware & Software. He wanted to license BBM. So then you could use BBM on other platforms...for a price

Agreed! but in all honesty.....I'm not sure what is best for Rim anymore. SurrealCivic makes some amazing points and has the numbers to back it up. Rim has grown on me over the years and i just hate to see them get sliced like this.

I'd really like to see BB10 turn things around, the cacades demos and alpha device are impressive, if they can just get it on the market and show people their hardware and new OS are just as good if not better than the competitors then they could really comeback.

No it's not a good move. Launch BB10.

If RIM management still can't find success then sell-out to Microsoft or Amazon or IBM.

What made you think of IBM? Big Blue would never consider it...

MS has their own thing going...

Amazon will ruin QNX...

Facebook will ruin QNX...

Only viable companies I see are HTC or Samsung...

I hope BB10 makes a big enough splash to put RIM back into a brighter future... Under the new managment, it appears things have become a more realistic and hopeful future...

Personally, I could go either way as far as RIM dropping hardware. Wouldn't want to see it split tho. Whatever makes RIM healthy again.
I just want BB10. Think about a SGS3 running BB10.....I like it.

Adam, just be a little more careful with your reporting. Only the Sunday Times is actually reporting the possible split, and without attribution of the information. The Sunday Times has NEVER been a muck -raker before (rolls eyes), so the story is on shakey ground. Reuters is reporting that the Sunday Times is reporting the split...Reuters is a reprint.

It could be someone within one of RIM's two financial consulting firms saying something off the record (nothing said is EVER off the record). There may be something to the story.

I think RIM's best hope is MS, Amazon, or (gulp) Facebook. Win8 phones are going to be a no-brainer for corps to integrate into their networks, and as was said in the recent podcast, the BES/Mobile Fusion thing is late coming to the party.

I think RIM's position win BB10 was strong if all things were equal. But with the Surface and Win8 phones coming to market around the same time, I'm starting to think that IDC's report that Windows Phones coming to the fore by 2016 was darn near prophetic. Which makes me sad, but I'd hate for RIM to be relegated to cheap world phones in developing and 3rd world countries.

Have you ever seen that stats on IDC's mobile prefiction record?

They are LOW!!!

I never put much faith in IDC, but even I was shocked. They are something like 60% in 6 months & down to 3% in 2 years. Why would I trust someone to predict the future when their record shows that they are only right 3% of the time?

I think they should make a Partnership...... SAMSUNG makes most of APPLEs hardware. HOW about SAMSUNG make RIM's Phones. Blackberry is more software then anything, thats why we love it, im sure through partnership/ selling the hardware division we could get Samsung to get the look of BlackBerry and they can do whatever when it comes to internals.

RIM is not like Microsoft, its not known for software only, but for both software and hardware. I read the article myself from the source and its all speculations. Its not even a topic we should be talking about. What has made RIM unique is the fact that it produces its own hardware to accommodate its software. This is why they have survived till date. They should focus on bringing into the market what the majority of consumers want, by moving according to the trend and adding more value. Personally breaking apart or selling is giving away to frustration which never existed. That article is the work of distractors. So far RIM is working its way to success again. What got RIM to this state is purely negligence. Living on past glory for a long time. But now action is being taken to make progress. My full support to them.

i totally agree with you

i don't think its a good idea to split the company, what makes a blackberry a balckberry is the fact that its hardware is geared around its OS and the needs of the users in their specific catagory.

the Curve was always a budget phone sold to teens and those that look to BBM and comunicate with their friends. the Bold was built for the business man, geared more for heavy emailing and browsing so the more powerful processors and nicer keypad for heavy e mails. the tourch was built to compete in the areas of touchscreen phones while rolling the awesome BB qwerty onto it.

where RIM burned was in their inability to get with the times and the app building and flashy looking screens and software. where apple took over releasing features that were not needed in a phone but had this certain appeal. two cameras? who needed two cameras? games? a phone is for communication not playing. RIM didn't compete and also release a generation of phones that in a way were not as good as its previous. just look at the curve 8900 and then the later release 8500, they used the same chipset but the 8500 had worse resolution and a crappier camera. the boold 9000 and then the 9700, same prossesor but smaller phone and the camera that was in the bold 8900. realistically thats where RIM lost it all and where apple/ samsung took over

I read the Reuters article and it consisted of unconfirmed rumors and speculation, so I wouldn't read too much into it yet. To me it may make sense for RIM to split their corporate products such as BES and their consumer oriented products in to two different divisions. Selling of parts of the company right now does not make much sense to me. If you figure RIM is doomed and the current prices they will get are the best they would ever get,then it's a good idea. If RIM wants to go out that way they get little respect from me. I'd be curious to see the anti trust implications if Microsoft or Google really made an attempt to buy RIM. And Facebook, Really?

This is not a good move. Reminds me of PalmSource and PalmOne all over again. Also Samsung will not license an unproven OS and Google has already agreed not to take control of the Android software platform for at least another 5 years. Why license the OS when you could buy the company when the stock gets low enough. If they do this they are just buying time to sell the company as a whole or eventually get rid of the hardware side completely.

Terrible ideas. Keep it together and keep downsizing. Selling or separating part or the whole business is stupid. Horrible ideas.

_________________________________________________________

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As for Software only being the way to go. Microsoft is releasing a Windows 8 tablet on their own hardware. Google now owns Motorola's cell phone division so they can produce their own hardware. Apple is more than a software company, if I'm not mistaken. But of course when it comes to RIM commentary none of that matters, if Wall Street wants to bury RIM they will create any nonsense they see fit.

Let's see how BB10 goes and then we can talk turkey. Anything else is pure speculation unless it's directly from a RIM exec. By the way. When we see BlackBerry flagship stores being opened all over the place how would any of this nonsense make sense?

If RIM splits off it's hardware division it will cease to exist and any hope of increasing shareholder value from the current levels will disappear.

And if it's software was any good it wouldn't be in the current mess.

There's a slight possibility it could carve off some of the recent acquisitions but that seems highly unlikely since most are vital to its survival as an entity.

We have to look at the origin of this story. The Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and Murdoch has a deal with Apple. I've never seen anything positive about RIM in a Murdoch media outlet.

Recently Reuters also only seems to print bad news about RIM. It's run by the Thomsons, so perhaps there's a relationship with Balsillie - perhaps Jim gave them advice on what not to do if they wanted to acquire a NHL franchise.

I would like it if they didn't sell out. I don't want to deal with the shakiness of selling to a larger company or buy outs, with rebranding and everything else. It might just force me to the next iPhone.

Ok folks when it comes to important decisions involving business managing why don't we let the new ceo and his team of "laser focused" qualified personnel make these kind of transitions. I get really frustrated with the media also but us BlackBerry users are not qualified to give any advice about what they should do with the company. I do suggest that RIM take notes of what we want in a handset but not ideas on how to manage the company.

Stay motivated and positive RIM!
If it's the right thing then everything will work out as it's supposed to.

My biggest concern with RIM potentially spinning off or selling its hardware business is that the QWERTY-bar form-factor will die with it. RIM makes the best QWERTY-bard phones, but its software had become a liability.

While BB10 shows a lot of promise, it would have been interesting to see RIM become an Android OEM and develop a phone that emphasized its value propositions: an unparalleled QWERTY-bar experience, efficient communications, battery life and security. Instead of developing its own software and trying to foster a third ecosystem, it would have inherited a huge app ecosystem and could have spent its efforts creating tools and other resources that would make it easy for developers to re-factor their apps to BB devices.

With 70+ million users and a shrinking but hardcore loyal user base, hopefully some company or investor will recognize the value of the BlackBerry brand and realize that, while it might be niche compared to the overall market, there is still demand for communications-oriented QWERTY-bar phones.

As much as I love RIM and want them to be a major player in the mobile relm again. I fear that by splitting up or selling to the highest bidder or stop producing hardware they are pritty much folding up shop as we know it and here's why.

By splitting up devestions into separete compaines expacially messaging they will crash and burn like Palm. Why as much as we BlackBerry enthusiasts think BBM will sell as a non free app or monthly service. We are kidding ourselves with many other quality ims like whatsapp or hookt for example being very popular and free.
By selling to someone they will be raped for their patents and BIS and Rims security features will be incorporated to their current OS. I am betting that Microsoft and google will go to a bidding war over RIM and as for Facebook buying they would screw it up in the end anyways and burn like palm and go back to social media.

As for ending hardware devesion the would be worse off as they would lose money on licensing their Os platform. Samsung will never pay a premium fee for BB10 when they have android for penuts. As for people saying Samsung is worried about google owning motorolla now, that means nothing for the next little while why? Compared to htc and Samsung phones at the moment well motorolla is garbage and google won't estrange their hardware partners that are making android sell.

To sum it up RIM has to go private if anything and start to deliver I great product and market it like crazy. Any other option I fear will mean the end of RIM for good.

There have been positive stories about RIM lately, so somebody HAD to put out some bull shirt.
Ignore. Carry on. Eyes on the prize. Keep the faith. Tally-ho, pip-pip. And all that...

Who out there currently offers hardware that's as nice as RIM's? It's all crap slab touch screens. I don't care if they have faster processors, they're all crap, especially if you want to get some work done.

If the only way to get BB10 is on a Samsung slab phone, then I'm done with RIM as I have a drawer full of various flip phones from yesteryear I'll fire back up.

We have discussed this for months..Now they make a suggestion and it means anything? They can go it as is, they can break it up, they can sell it, they can license it out, or any combination of the above. Must be a lazy day for the media.

This amounts to throwing in the towel. It just wouldn't work on so many levels as alluded to by most here.
Basically this type of speculation is borne from the fact that RIM is (for a company whom many doubt) too quiet about what it is up to.
Another BB10 teaser video like the one they showed in early May but with newer features is in order. A device code name is due too to quell this type of harmful speculation.

I don't see how breaking up the company could help RIM . RIM has to control the software and hardware side of the business if they won't to succeed, BB10 is the future so RIM should stay the course.

No, they're a financially strong company with no debt. Weather the storm, release BB10, and gain back market share!

thank you morganplus8 and following posts... stay the course..what about the Bold 9000?? . probably the best keyboard ever...Sure there have been some "misses" in some devices.. but many, and I mean many, have been hits... 3rd quarter of 2012 is still on the way...you can't judge future product designs on the past..... must be a slow day

2 Things : "No sources cited" enough said. Also, I will never buy a BlackBerry device made by someone else. I'm a purist, what can I say? I know it's closed minded, but that's just me.

***also, headline is innacurate, just saying. Try and avoid sensationalism, its not very honest reporting: again, just saying...

I don't see why you guys are talking about giving up on hardware. Article talks about making division of RIM between messaging services (BES and infrastructure) and handset division (which will have both BB10 software development and phone manufacturing)..
I think this makes sense as this way people will not expect that all future blackberry solutions will have to work through BES. I think RIM needs to start following everybody's way and support active exchange and other mail services which are free.. even if it means less control and lower level security..

I don't think RIM should adopt Active Exchange...

They just need to make BES more beneficial to businesses.

Companies don't want their sensitive info stored up in "the cloud".

They want their own cloud to monitor.

RIM should sell individual cloud services.

Here's the Point. RIM is not known for its "HARDWARE" We love the look and Design of our blackberries and the Software of Course, Right ? But when we were constantly pulling out our batteries or waiting for our blackberry to unfreeze or taking pic with out 1.5 MP Camera that's not amazing hardware compared to the competition.

The only point im making is if RIM is going to bring out Some awesome hardware that can compete AND keep them profitable AT THE SAME TIME then they dont need to split other wise SELL IT. So far it sounds like they have hardware in check. I have the Dev Alpha and im impressed totally.

Here's The plan : SHOW Investors what they want, SHOW SHOW SHOW. Thats the only thing thats going to make them happy. The constant Keyboard videos are getting old, just show them were innovating its that simple (Without compromising or revealing to much) There so much things about BB10 that we don't know about !!!RIM has so much up there sleeves let roll them down a little bit

Every little bit shown is just more ammo fed to the competition. I agree that the keyboard demos are getting old but we need to be patient...

Patience is a virtue.

Hey, how about that for the first BB10 device: BlackBerry Virtue.

Hmm never mind, they should just call it the BlackBerry Kunix

... define "split" ...

I'll stand to a financial stategy that aims RIM to introduce other manufactures/services providers/ network providers into one activity without engaging the other and keep control of both. This could be a nice move.

In that scenario, I'll tend to think this is the "services" branch that has potential sexiness both for manufacturers and networks. Then, on the device side, one may think Facebook, but it's been a long rumored news, already and nothing pop about it for months ...

Strange to believe they'll send the loosing part; who would buy ?

is this a fact or just the media making up something? Seems like a hell of a time for rim to bust up about the time a new OS is hitting th market unless all of this has been brewing for sometime and now the cat is just coming-out of the bag. As far as I am concern this may be the straw that "pushes me to apple" and when of if the dust settles depending on what rim (or whoever) has on the market I may come back. All of this unknown and speculation is causing me to much stress.

That wouldnt be a very good move.

The future is end-to-end products, like (sigh) Apple.
Microsoft is now attempting to do it...
RIM already has it, they just have very bad publicity.

RIM Should:

1) Change the company name to BlackBerry.
2) Hire a VERY GOOD Marketing firm to sell BB10
3) Hire that Anastasia design guy..
4) Acquire some more companies to incorporate natively in products.. They lost out on Skype, Opera, Vlingo, and Scalago... Buy that Tactile company for starters... BellShare, and maybe even that i-Speech company...
5) Make BES more beneficial. Sell individual secure cloud services.
6) License MS Office Mobile - Wayyy more benefical to everyone.
7) Take advantage of low share prices and buy back shares (which raises share value)

BB10 is getting praise from developers - build on that..

Is Crackberry getting desperate for hits and clicks?
Why do you people lend credence to this unsubstantiated garbage by reprinting it here?
I mean really, if I want the usual BlackBerry bashing I'll just go to BGR and read their drivel.
I expect better then rumours and innuendo from this site. Very disappointed!

It's not garbage its called speculation, every company has it, Its just RIM get a lot more of it. AND anyone who get the situation RIM's in understands this is a real issue and is always on the table as long as RIM shares and market share continues to decline. Thats the reality of things.

The people up in the offices only see figures ($$$) they don't see the hard work and the engineers or the developers like me trying to put Blackberry back to the top.

+1

While I understand why this blog post was put up, I don't know why Adam decided to name it like that.

Should have been "Sunday Times claims: RIM considering splitting business into 2 divisions"

With stories like this and the supposed #1 BlackBerry fan boy using Android, I'm starting to lose faith in this blog...

Agree with Xenrobia.
Really Adam?
If you are going to reprint speculative articles like this, at least make it clear what the article is about.
The title is very misleading.

This may make sense from a reporting standpoint, but I personally would have a hard time paying for a samsung phone, albeit a bb10 device

no, that would be what those black campaigner (if that's even a word) want, a piece of RIM cheap and hassle free. and majority of media out there are done with bashing BB because of the BB10 dev alpha teasers, so they are concentrating to make a bad image on RIM itself.

and yes, this is only my speculation, countering the speculation they wrote. media are mostly in for sensational stories and rumors. i speculate this is just another rumor they hear from those who want pieces of RIM. if this rumor is true, you can count on me to not buying any BB again. because what i need is the hardware, software and the service. the handphone, the OS and the BIS. in one package, not separated by makers or brands.

period.

This is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN until a least 2 quarters AFTER BB10 is released.

RIM has been sitting around the borardroom table with its advisors and bankers and they have been discussing ALL options. A breakup is clearly one option.

If BB10 fails then RIM will have to do something to survive. A reasonable breakup would be to spilt three ways.
- A handset company
- A network company
- A patent company.

RIM is organised today in the way its board likes. This will only change if it has to and the only way it will change drastically is if BB10 fails.

The Reuters article clearly says that this is an option with the comments coming indirectly and not from RIM.

"If BB10 fails then RIM will have to do something to survive. A reasonable breakup would be to spilt three ways.
- A handset company
- A network company
- A patent company.
RIM is organised today in the way its board likes. This will only change if it has to and the only way it will change drastically is if BB10 fails."

to me that's not different with the death of BB. splitting it apart won't help RIM much more than helping other brands getting RIM's technology to be adapted in their own product. Splitting it apart will still kill it. i think it will only help a few who have interests in RIM's technology. if RIM really split it, to me it's the same as end game for BB.

"The Reuters article clearly says that this is an option with the comments coming indirectly and not from RIM."

exactly what i said, it's only rumors spread by those who want the splitting apart happen.

I really hope this doesn't happen. I love BlackBerry and don't wish to use any other platform. I say that we all commit to upgrading and then be responsible for pushing 2sales each.

No. Just release a very good BB10 phone. There are many of us who would love to come back to Blackberry.

Geez.. their stock is in the toilet mainly due to repeated media bashing and biased wallstreet.. I wish the rumors and the bashing would just stop. It makes it look like RIM doesn't know what's it's doing and all this done from uncited sources.

Leave 'em alone and just let them develop and deliver for goodness sakes...

So...Let's see how it went down...
"Hey,Bill,I bought you a coffee...whatchu doin'?
"Thanks, Dick...I'm trying to crank out somethin' for the Sunday edition..."
"Any luck? "
"Nah, I got nothin'...say, RIM hired some bankers a while back...whaddya think they oughta do? "
"Geez, I dunno...maybe split up the business...sell off hardware...dunno..."
"Hey, awesome! Thanks, man, you just saved my bacon!"
"Uh...You're welcome...I guess..."
'A source close to the story (get it? "close to the story "!?!) says...'
So...
Once again...
From Thors' lips to your ear -“I will not in anyway split this up or separate this into different businesses. Now on the licensing piece. I’m absolutely confident that BlackBerry 10 will prove itself as a platform. If there is requests coming towards Research In Motion to talk about licensing that platform to other companies I will entertain those discussions, I will listen, I will access the business opportunity for RIM and if it makes sense strategically and tactically to go down that path, and then I will make the decision together with the board. It’s not my focus one. My focus one is to strengthen RIM’s business based on that integrated approach.”

This was an absolute rumor and once again the media (Paid by the competition) is disturbing with bad news. Since the Q1 earning reported next week the media want to add fuel to the fire. However, it will be a surprise Q1 results. Not a glorious one but the expected one. I am really amazed this many people took this message and reacting to it. I am sure the next news would be "there are no BB10s"
Some folks have a lot of useless time in their hands.

It might do RIM good to sell off their hardware division to say, AMD or Nvidia or any asian manufacturer that hasn't had a hand in manufacturing the big names. Then outsource their manufacturing back to them. It'll still be a BlackBerry, and it might introduce new engineering that RIM might never manage.
Its not like they need in-house manufacturing so they could rnd and release a new model at a whim every quarter. Probably worldwide stations/distros when dealing with different carrier requirements but that should be unified already.

This might free up resources for software rnd. BB owners likes the stability and the efficiency, add in some hype feature and push third party stuff that is standard on most idroids, or create software that betters them. Don't need no millions of apps, just a few quality apps that people can't live without.

I would hate updating my handset through Samsung AppLoader.

Why are people so worked up about losing/ditching the hardware business? The only companies making money on hw are Apple and Samsung. Plus, other than the keyboard, what other hw feature is special about Blackberries?

BB10 will not go away if the HW is sold off. I think it only enhances the BB10 play.

Oh please facebook buy rim and package all the games and app bloatware on bb10 devices. These rim fans will still buy them. All 100 of them.

and then here's microsoft making hardware for their surface tablet.

google bought motorola and apple does their own hardware.

it's tough for rim but thats because they dont have any bloody bb10 phones on the market.

there's a reason why the handset market for them is dwindling. people are waiting!!!

RIM's Statement on today's news of a possible breakup.

After todays news about a possible split of the company I reached out to a contact within RIM and this is what I got back.

A RIM Spokesperson said:

“RIM has hired advisers to help the Company examine ways to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives. As Thorsten said on the Company's fourth-quarter earnings call, 'We believe the best way to drive value for our stakeholders is to execute on our plan to turn the company around.' This remains true."

So what do you thing? Not a 100% definite answer but seem like the main goal is to turn the company around the way it currently stands.

Sound off in the comments!

If in fact this is truly a statement from RIM, then "execute on our plan to turn the company around" could be to sell-off the money losing parts of the company and sell the money making parts of the company. My sense is that they are aggressively pursuing the licensing of technology.

Wow, with the gluttony seen in the past, and the dearth of ideas for making money today, I see the entire industry eating itself. As a consumer who has stuck with Blackberry smartphones for so many years, between this and what Verizon is preparing to do, will spell the doom for smartphones. No one is going to buy a phone with Facebook or Amazon on the front. I won't that is for sure! And, as a Verizon customer, I see the writing on the wall for all smartphones. Verizon and the rest are prepared to devour everything they can to make money, as if they hadn't made enough. Goodbye smartphones. At some point, and not to distant in the future I fear, people will realize it will be cheaper to have a regular phone. Oh wait, they will stop making JUST phones. So bend over people...the future is about to poke us all and NOT in a good way.

no, not directly. but negative news/rumors/sentiments about RIM helps a lot to tank RIM stock price so far. so it's helpful to defend RIM in case there's potential stock buyer for RIM that have no clue of what happened other than what media shoved to them, backed by speculants that doing anything they can forcing to sink RIM's stock price.

If Facebook has anything to do with my BlackBerry. I will be kayaking out to an island and leaving both my handset and PlayBook there and going to Verizon and getting an I phone. Then an I pad from wherever you buy those. Just saying.
Facebook is evil.

Qnx and RIM. = BB10.

Ps. The keyboard shortcuts of words on my PlayBook is a fun way to make your own MAD LIBS.

Cheers.

All the people who say rim needs to do this and they need to do that I have a question. How many billion dollar companies have you run in your life? Zero you say?

In my opinion they should cut down on the variety of handsets they produce, reduce the size of their hardware manufacturing side of things. Increase efficiency and focus.

i think that you are fu**in stupid, whats the point of hiring thorsten and all the hard work if they want to sell the hardware business ! If they sold it I wont buy a blackberry again ! Fuuuck u !!

well I guess if Rim goes under it only a matter of time before crackberry.com goes the same way. better cash in now Kevin. It was good run

BULL SHIT.
FUCKING media is lying their asses off. Wait until RIM clears this up right away once they do check the fibbing media. RIM isn't splitting, they aren't licensing heir os out or their hardware, the media is trying to spread a bunch of shit that doesn't have anything to back it up. FUCK the media.

I think it is a good idea, but not to a Facebook or Google please. We have seen how Google did with their phone, and Facebook (Faceberry)? Microsoft is a much better (worthy) option.

That was what Palm did ... and where are they now? Apart from that everyone else including Microsoft is trying to achieve what RIM and Apple already have: Soft- and Hardware.

This is not going to happen ...