How does that old saying go again? “Everything old is new again?” That exactly how I feel about the RIM rumors that have been making the rounds today.
According to a bit of analyst chatter, Samsung has their eyes on Waterloo-based RIM, and more specifically the new mobile operating system they’ve got cooking in the oven right now. If these reports hold true, then Samsung is ultimately after a minority stake in RIM and access to BB10, which they will load onto some of their forthcoming handsets.
If BGC Partners analyst Collin Gillis is to be believed, then the deal is coming into play because Samsung is concerned about the future of their relationship with Google after their Motorola purchase is finalized. Sound familiar? I’m not surprised — Samsung and RIM have been erroneously linked together in the past, with rumors of a full-on buyout making the rounds back in January. At the time, a Samsung spokesperson flatly denied the claims, going as far as to say there was no contact between the companies regarding a takeover.
The one thing that gives this story any semblance of legitimacy is that Samsung is said to be considering a small stake in the company rather than buying it outright. Samsung wouldn’t want to take on the entire company and all of its trappings — if they indeed want access to BB10 (which seems like a stretch to me), they’ll ideally want to take as small a stake in RIM as they can and still get access to it. For what it’s worth, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins would prefer that scenario to one where parts of RIM are broken up and sold to the highest bidder.
Unsurprisingly, RIM’s stock price has risen as news of the rumor wings its way around, but I have a feeling that a brief stock boost is the best RIM will be getting out of this situation. They could desperately use some help on the hardware front, and while linking up with Samsung could yield some fresh takes on the classic BlackBerry formula, Samsung still has some other options when it comes to an alternative mobile OS. Bada, anyone?