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Samsung Touted as Possible RIM Buyer

Another scenario has RIM licensing its OS to Samsung and HTC

An unattributed rumor put in play Tuesday by the Boy Genius blog has RIM interested in selling out and Samsung interested in buying it, or some piece of it, if RIM's co-CEOs weren't asking so much.

The other possibility is that RIM will license its IP to other companies.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek thinks it more likely RIM will license its newfangled Blackberry 10 operating system for 10 bucks a pop to Samsung and HTC. He also thinks RIM might finally get an independent chairman, who could kick off a formal strategic review of the floundering company's options and set in train a major hardware restructuring.

BGR thinks the BlackBerry Messenger and several other Blackberry enterprise features would be a swell way for Samsung to differentiate Android, make it a bigger threat to Apple and lessen Google's control.

It said, "We have heard that [RIM co-CEO] Jim Balsillie is actively meeting with almost every company that might be interested in either a part or all of RIM, in addition to having talks about licensing. ‘Jim is going hard after Samsung,' said a source with knowledge of the negotiations.'"

The speculation tickled RIM's stock price 8%-10%.

RIM's market cap is about $9 billion. BGR thinks RIM is looking for $12 billion-$15 billion or between $22.90 and $28.60 a share. Its stock, which closed at $17.47 Tuesday, lost 75% of its value last year.

Meanwhile, Samsung is planning to merge its internally developed bada mobile operating software with Tizen, the open source successor to Intel's Meego Linux OS, in the search for an alternative to Android. It might try to license the combo to other Android OEMs who might be interested since Google is buying hardware rival Motorola Mobility. The Linux Foundation is supposed to be putting HTML5 support in Tizen.

Unavailable in the US, Bada owns 2.2% of all smartphones according to Gartmer.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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