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IBM Said to be Interested in RIM’s Enterprise Services Unit

BlackBerry Handset

IBM is said to be interested in acquiring Research in Motion’s enterprise services unit, according to two sources familiar with the situation, who asked not to be named. The company has reportedly already made an informal approach for the division, which operates the network of secure services RIM uses to support its BlackBerry devices.

But according to Bloomberg’s report, RIM is yet to receive any interest in its entire business, or the division that makes its smartphones. It is believed, however, that the Canadian company wants to wait for the rollout of BlackBerry 10 next year before making any decisions on selling all or part of the company.

The report also notes that RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, is reluctant to let the company go, and would prefer to license its BlackBerry operating system to other smartphone vendors instead:

RIM Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins, who took charge in January, is trying to turn the company around after customers defected to Apple Inc. and Google Inc.’s Android, triggering losses and declining sales.

Heins has said he would prefer to find a partner or license RIM’s operating system, rather than pursuing sale.

Once the king of smartphones, RIM has suffered a rapid decline in the last few years as it has watched its customers flee to rival devices powered by Android and iOS. In June, the company reported its first fiscal-quarter loss after sales nosedived 43% to $2.8 billion. The company then announced it would be cutting 5,000 jobs.

RIM is now rushing to get its next-generation BlackBerry 10 platform out of the doors in the hope that it will turn the company around. But it has recently had to delay its launch until the first quarter of 2013. “RIM’s development teams are relentlessly focussed on ensuring the quality and reliability of the platform and I will not compromise the product by delivering it before it is ready,” Heins said at the time.

[via Bloomberg]

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...