Samsung may license RIM's BlackBerry 10 OS.
Bloomberg reports that Research In Motion shares rose 4.2-percent to $7.62 at the close in New York on Tuesday after a report surfaced claiming the BlackBerry company is currently trying to negotiate licensing deals with Samsung.
This isn't the first time Samsung has been associated with RIM. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins talked about building a BlackBerry 10 reference system and licensing out that design to phone manufacturers. In turn, these handset makers would "build the hardware around it – either it’s a BlackBerry or it’s something else being built on the BlackBerry platform." Both Samsung and Sony were mentioned in the interview.
"We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details," he said. "We have to also model this from a finance perspective – that’s why we’re working with the financial advisers to see if we do this where would it take the company. Either we do it ourselves or we do it with a partner. But we will not abandon the subscriber base."
But on Tuesday Samsung was associated with RIM again, this time by Peter Misek, a Jefferies analyst. "Samsung is considering ramping up its internal development efforts, licensing BB10 or buying RIM," he said. "Samsung is undecided."
Samsung, one of Google's biggest customers in the Android market, seems to be a prime candidate for BlackBerry 10 licensing or an all-out RIM purchase. With two popular mobile platforms at hand, the smartphone maker could find itself on better ground to tackle Apple's iPhone and possibly even the iPad if the company licenses PlayBook 2.0 as well. Samsung could even gain a portfolio of patents if it does choose to purchase RIM.
However a RIM acquisition could give Samsung full control over BlackBerry Messenger, RIM's current upper hand in the smartphone market. "[BBM is] what attracts people to BlackBerry," Heins recently said. "This is our BlackBerry experience we can deliver -- there’s no other system out there where you can read, write, check if you’ve read my message. We want to make it as differentiated as possible. Going cross platform and opening up would be losing that advantage. I think there’s a huge difference between somebody who just provides the phone and the hardware and someone who provides services."
RIM's share of the global market was only 4.8-percent in the second quarter, down from 12-percent the year before. Google's Android OS climbed to 68-percent in the same quarter while Apple's own iPhone dropped down to 17-percent. RIM's CEO admitted that the company considered switching to Android before moving forward with the development of BlackBerry 10.