Amazon, Microsoft and Nokia have all considered buying BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, according to reports. RIM's dismal year has seen the world and his wife consider a pass at the BlackBerry-builders.
Amazon is reported by Reuters to have gone as far as hiring an investment bank during the summer to size up the troubled Canadian phonemaker. Microsoft and Nokia are reported by the Wall Street Journal to have toyed with the idea of joining forces to bring BlackBerry on board. And Crave hears a whip-round among the Broadwoodwidger Womens' Institute had Wall Street buzzing with speculation.
RIM's stock has plunged an eye-watering 77 per cent during its disastrous 2011, a year marked by delays, outages and a botched crack at taking on the iPad with the disappointing BlackBerry PlayBook. Its stock is so low, investors are rumoured to be swapping shares for foil Premier League stickers.
The BlackBerry company's weakened state presents an appetising target to other tech companies, especially those looking to strengthen their position in the burgeoning and high-value smart phone market currently dominated by Apple. This year Google dug £7.6bn from down the back of the sofa to snap up Motorola while Microsoft and Nokia cemented their relationship.
But RIM has resisted overtures from other companies, with bosses Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie insisting on turning the company's fate around themselves. It's an uphill struggle: RIM has already been forced to delay its next generation of 'superphones' and was embarrassed by having to change the name of its forthcoming new software BBX to BlackBerry 10.
Reuters reports that some RIM investors are calling for the company to be broken up and sold, quoting one investor who bluntly states, "It's over."
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