This year’s been packed with doom-laded headlines for RIM as the firm grapples with financial woe in the wake of market-dominance from Android and iOS; platforms increasingly marginalising the BlackBerry brand.
The company’s plight has forced CEO Thorsten Heins to consider licensing out the forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system to boost revenue, but moves on this front have already suffered a setback.
According to industry experts, RIM had sounded out Korean giant Samsung as a potential partner to help reignite its ailing fortunes. But having stormed past lowly RIM in recent years to lead the industry alongside the likes of Apple, Samsung isn’t rushing to the Canadians rescue. AllThingsD had quoted Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who said, “We believe RIM is attempting to revive discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal,” having recognised it was “a subscale manufacturer and desperately need[ed] a partner.”
But Samsung has today snubbed the offer from RIM, ruling out an acquisition or licensing deal with the company, according to Reuters. Having dabbled with Symbian, Android Windows Phone and its own Bada platform over the years, Samsung seemed a logical target for RIM, but today’s news will come as a fresh blow for the company which may now look elsewhere for a partnership.
"RIM has already lost its initiative in the smartphone market and what is left doesn't look really attractive to the likes of Samsung," comments Lee Sei-cheol, an analyst at Meritz Securities. "Should they have a deep patent pool, that might be the most appealing asset to potential acquirers."
Its BlackBerry 10 software seems to be RIM’s trump card - or last chance, depending how you see it, but the Samsung snub means the firm will be looking for its hardware to make an indent on the market and bring some brighter news. Today saw the launch of its new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook in Canadian stores before a worldwide release expected to unravel in the coming months.
Samsung meanwhile, is preparing a product that will carry a little less pressure going to market. A black version of Galaxy S3 smartphone appears to be in the offing, bolstering the wildly popular series that has shifted 10 million units.