BlackBerry Maker RIM Might Be Bought: Cisco and Microsoft Possiblities

How is this for a rumor? The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone series—Research In Motion (RIM)—might be the target for a takeover.  Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Bros., claims that while it is a possibility that is helping fuel RIM’s stock price (RIMM) rise of 12% over the past couple of days (along with the live demo of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet). However, he remains skeptical that a buyout of RIM will take place.

Who would want to buy RIM? That is a good question. A better would be: Who would want to buy RIM that can afford its $30 billion dollar market cap? That list is considerably shorter. Shaw Wu names Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle as all potential buyers. They all want a piece of RIM’s business clientele in the smartphone market and the money to actually pull off an attempt.

UBS analyst Philip Huang thinks that a Cisco buyout of RIM would make the most sense and that if RIM’s stock price dips low enough, Cisco will move on RIM. Both companies provide sophisticated IT solutions to businesses of all sizes. Furthermore both companies are developing tablet computers run proprietary operating systems based on UNIX. Both the tablets—the Cius and the PlayBook—have front and rear facing cameras and will be capable of cloud based computing tasks through client software. They will also be able to run virtual machines and both are being targeted towards business users.

Another potential buyer would be Microsoft, which competes directly against RIM for business customers in the IT market. The two also compete in the smartphone market and Microsoft is launching Windows Phone 7 (WP7) to compete against RIM’s BlackBerry OS 6. BlackBerry OS is showing its age and RIM has plans to move its entire smartphone line to the BlackBerry Tablet OS that it is developing with its recently acquired QNX Software Systems for the BlackBerry PlayBook. WP7 has a much larger challenge facing RIM’s Tablet OS, which is heavily based on Adobe’s AIR SDK and developers will be able to easily create apps for WP7, iOS, Android and QNX’s Tablet OS with Adobe AIR and Flash 10.1.

So what do you think BlackBerry owners? HP’s purchase of Palm has breathed new life into the company and Palm is releasing five to six new smartphones next year and the Palm Pre 2 this year. If Cisco buys RIM, you can expect BlackBerry to live on but if Microsoft does, they will most likely migrate BlackBerry owners to WP7. Your take? Tell me in the comments.

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