Fox Business reported Thursday that Research In Motion, the Ontario-based vendor behind the struggling BlackBerry brand, has hired investment banker Goldman Sachs to start fielding potential buyout requests. RIM shares shot up nearly 4 percent in light of the report, according to Fox Business.
Rumors of a potential RIM takeover have been circulating for months, including a Reuters report in December that suggested online retail giant Amazon.com was considering a bid. Microsoft and Dell also have been rumored as potential buyers in the past, according to The Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital.
RIM told CRN it does not comment on rumors or speculation.
The BlackBerry maker has been steadily losing market share, as more and more consumer devices, such as iPhones and Android-run devices, make their way into the corporate world. Statistics published by mobile market analyst ComScore show that, as of November, Google’s Android accounted for 46.9 percent of U.S. smartphone market share, while Apple claimed the runner-up spot with 28.7 percent. RIM followed next with 16.6 percent of the share but, unlike its competitors, its hold had slipped. Just three months prior in August, RIM held a healthier 19.7 percent.
According to service providers, BlackBerry’s troubles can largely be attributed to a lack of innovation on RIM’s part. "If you just look at a typical BlackBerry phone, it’s really hard to tell a new one from one from five years ago. The form factor is the same," said Tim Shea, CEO of Alpha NetSolutions, a Millbury, Mass.-based managed service provider. "From my perspective, they’re just not keeping up."
Fox Business said that RIM’s stock was steady at $16.05, a 2.8 percent increase, Thursday afternoon on Nasdaq. Over the past year, however, RIM’s stock has lost 75 percent of its value, the report said.