RIM Wants a Mobile Ad Network

Research In Motion (RIM)–the maker of the BlackBerry line of smartphones–wants in on mobile advertisements. This makes sense, as both Apple and Google have purchased mobile ad companies recently. Since RIM still holds the lead in the domestic smartphone market and still has the number two spot behind Nokia globally, it makes sense that mobile ads are a good place to expand into.

Currently, RIM is in negotiations with Millenial Media–a mobile ad network company–to purchase them. However, negotiations are not going the best, as RIM does not want to pay the 400 to 500 million price that Millenial Media is demanding. If the negotiations fail, Millenial Media will go ahead with its initial public offering (IPO). Hopefully, the two manage to agree on a price before the opportunity passes.

Whether or not RIM can make a real grab at the mobile ad market is an entirely different matter. Does RIM has the expertise to run an ad company? That’s debatable. Certainly adding in the staff of Millenial Media will help, but the question as to if RIM will listen to them is a big if.

Expanding is an essential part of the current smartphone world. Because smartphones combine a variety of technologies and have nearly limitless potential, they require constant investment. RIM needs an ad company to help its floundering app market. Remember BlackBerry App World 2.0? Where is it? Developers need help right now and a little encouragement to help lift RIM from its current app chasm.

This the right move on RIM’s part? Should smartphone companies enter the ad market or let third parties handle it? Can RIM hope to compete at this point or has its opportunity slipped by? Tell me what you think.

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