Jan 17 AT 2:19 PM Dustin Earley 53 Comments

Samsung rumored to buy RIM to make Android better, not BlackBerry

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According to a new rumor from Jonathan Geller at BGR, Research In Motion may be looking beyond licensing parts of its BlackBerry operating system and moving on to selling entire divisions or more. According to Geller’s sources, Samsung is very interested in the company. But it wouldn’t be to make BlackBerry devices with Samsung hardware, it would be to make Android devices with BlackBerry software.

When you look at why manufacturers decide to heavily customize their Android devices, it really boils down to one thing: Differentiation. While Samsung already has TouchWiz and an entire portfolio of Samsung-only apps, claiming exclusive rights to already popular BlackBerry software would give them a leg up against the competition. If Samsung was to outright purchase RIM, they could pick and choose how they integrate BlackBerry services and apps into their Android apps.

Earlier this week, Samsung announced plans to merge their Bada OS with Tizen, an open-sourced Linux-based OS backed by Intel. But with RIM rumored to be asking for more than $10 billion for a full sale, it’s highly unlikely Samsung would be open-sourcing BlackBerry services if they were to acquire them.

We already know 2012 is going to be an interesting year for Android and other popular companies and platforms, but if Samsung were to buy RIM, I don’t think interesting would cover it. What do you think? Are RIM and Samsung a match made in heaven, or is this all just hot air?

Source: BGR

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • http://lawrencesamantha.com olentz

    That would be powerful. I know many people who are stuck with BlackBerry simply because of their Blackberry Messenger and nothing else. If Samsung can provide Android experience with Blackberry license, I’m sure many will make the jump.

    • Jeff Pan

      Classic move by Samsung! But the question is – Is BBM, Email and Security features worth paying $10-$12 billion?

      One thing for sure. Blackberry services would indeed boost Samsung phone sales.

      BGR reports are mostly not true.

      • auronblue

        The potential customer base along with Blackberry features might be worth it, but I don’t see RIM selling. Licensing maybe.

        And I agree that BGR mostly sucks….stopped looking to them for info long ago.

    • taketheleap

      I don’t think “stuck” is the right word. BBM is really not very different than text messaging (save for the “D” and “R” status updates), so I think the right word is “comfortable”. “Lazy” is another alternative.

      • Lawrence

        Not if you live in a country like Indonesia where Blackberry is considered necessity, and Android and iPhone can’t stand a chance against Blackberry.

        • Daniel G

          Here in Venezuela is sadly the same :( Everyone, I mean EVERYONE has one of these (although iPhone 4 got pretty popular after iPhone 4S showed up). But they don’t buy it just for the features (which pretty much suck because everything is limited to a quite expensive service for everything, including email or even the messaging app), they just buy it for the bbm messenger! I don’t see what’s the difference with that between any other text messaging app! Take for example, WhatsApp. Compare them. Difference? BBM service (along with every other feature from the phone) costs 160 BS. per month (about 40$ / month), has extreme lag, and works only for Blackberry devices. WhatsApp? Free and cross-platform. Nothing else. Sad reality here in Venezuela.

          • Suneet

            If you have used both BBM and Whatsapp you would understand the difference and there is a lot more to BBM than simple text message. BBM chat has probably the best servers in place as compared to all other chatting apps including whatsapp. i have used both and whatsapp feels nothing as fluid or quick as BBM. I’m too kinda stuck with a Blackberry phone coz of BBM. the kind of connectivity and utility it provides is unmatched, Although, now to satisfy the utility of a good smartphone, I’m looking at other phones to meet that urge… :) still the BB would stay as a secondary phone just for its BBM :)

  • redraider133

    This could be great for android: more patents(to fight off apple and MS), added security that many enterprises require therefore adding android into the choice for enterprise, and not to mention the various other services samsung could integrate into android from bb.

    • anthonyryan

      I could se it only helping Samsung if they do buy it and not android I’d see it helping Android if Google offers to buy RIM and adds all those patents and added features android could have.

      • redraider133

        But it would help android since samsung would still be using android and would add those things into android on their devices and possibly even get more customers for android which would be a good thing overall. I am sure they would use the patents to help the other OEM manufacturers.

  • epps720

    I wonder if this is due to Google getting in bed with Motorola? The next “Nexus” (pure google experience phone) likely won’t be with Samsung anyway!

    • Jeff Pan

      I hope that is not the reason. Google,Samsung, Moto, HTC et. al should stay together for a stronger Android community

  • Alan Reboli

    Buy it to shut it down. Awesome :)

  • YMS123

    RIM is doomed

    • YMS123

      In their current state, that is

  • CTown

    This may be off topic but wow, Maemo refuses to die. After Nokia got tired of being single, Nokia had a fling with Intel and had a ba by named Meego (with is a combination of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin). Then Nokia left Intel for Microsoft and left Intel feeling lonely. This left Intel heart-hearted and a very easy pick-up for Samsung (who is already with Google). Samsung not satisfied with its amount of partners it has, now has been seen talking with RIM.

    It’s like a bad soap opera. Is the mobile industry this tough to get ahead in?

  • wild

    Android fragmentation, again…
    But I think if samsung will buy rim and take services to android on they’re phones, devs will port them for all android devices.

    • David

      I’m an ignorant on this issue, I admit. So please take that into account before downvoting.

      IMHO, that’s not fragmentation, it’s “holding the world back until it everyone catches up with everything”.

      I agree that lots of standards are always necessary to achieve a minimum way to achieve cross-communication and understanding, but new features are always welcomed. The point here is that when we provide a new feature atop a software stack, people that need a new feature will develop and target that new feature. See development for DirectX, for example. Are we going to stop development for graphics layers until all games catch up? No. Absolutely never and ever. Should we hold back NFC until all phones have it? Chicken and egg everyone?

      Fragmentation is an issue, IMHO, when a different feature is just a way to interfere with already present standards. In my own, personal opinion, differentiation is a problem, added value almost always isn’t.

      That’s why most of us despise mandatory UI layers but are just OK with new and added value.

      At least that’s what I believe… I think.

  • E1

    Hope Sammy dosent screw Android over tho I read sum where they out to make there own OS but if its to help Android out IOS start building your coffin

  • kwills88

    It kinda makes sense… I mean Samsung does have ChatOn and having it fuse with bbm would be great.. Though I wish android had a stand alone messenger service, sure there’s Google Talk, but it’s no where close to features bbm has. Maybe Google could buy it and fuse Gtalk with bbm so Gtalk users could talk to bbm users and vice versa. Overall its a great thing to think about and BB’s security is top notch so that would help Sammy and or android.

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    RIP – RIM. We loved you back in the day. Too bad you couldn’t keep up.

  • sunrise

    Oh god I hate doing this, but I think it’s important to spotlight incorrect/informal grammar and sentence structure especially in this day and age where more people are getting their news from blogs.

    AndroidAndMe.com needs an editor, badly! Informally speaking it is fine to start a sentence with a conjunction; however, I don’t consider these tech sites and the articles published as informal writing. Thus, following the proper guidelines of formal writing and journalism are essential.

    Please don’t start sentences with any conjunctions (you started two different sentences with “but.”) Also, pay attention to the proper and improper use of hyphens.

    I’m not trying to be picky, but I’ve found AndroidAndMe to be one of the worst offenders of grammar out there. I just think at this stage in the game with the size of this site and the large audience it attracts, good writing and editing skills should be essential.

    The Verge, Engadget, and Huffington Post all do it correctly. You should too!

    • Owain

      I don’t care, and I assume the majority of readers don’t care either… Blogs are best kept informal.

    • deng

      When you say “in this day and age where” are you sure you want “where”. Surely “when” is better my old chum. If you must correct be correct.

      • David

        “If you must correct be correct”

        Sorry, but that’s just tu quoque and it’s one of the most unfair criticisms one can make. Ah, and it’s also a common fallacy.

        His criticism is valid, and he doesn’t suddenly become ineligible for the criticism “just because” he fails in that same criteria.

        Granted, that kind of criticism is better worded in more soft ways (it’s also a fallacy, but it goes a long way to show appreciation for other people’s work), but his point is still valid.

        Also, it’s not because I don’t mind (I don’t) that we should at least have some control over our grammar. Grammar exists for a valid reason. It’s not just elitism or informality. Also, it’s not fluff when it goes beyond a certain degree.

        Mind you, A&M become 80% of my source of Android news. And that’s not fluff just to show appreciation for their work. It’s merit. But give merit where it’s due.

      • sunrise

        You are correct, and I too noticed my own mistake as soon as I clicked submit. Unfortunately, there is no edit ability for comments.

        With that said, I am only an informal commenter so I didn’t necessarily proof read my comment in detail. Also, I dont hold comments to the same standard of writing. For obvious reasons…many of us are commenting on our phones with our one hand typing skills.

        Again, a mistake in comments is different from continued mistakes made by writers on an established site.

        Anyway, I do love this site so enough about grammar and back to Android. :-)

    • Angie Wimberly

      We do have a copy editor. She may just have a different opinion.

      • yvolk

        This gramma topic may become complimentary and differentiating feature of this site?!

  • spazby

    I don’t see sammy leaving android… yet. It is far too powerful right now and sammy needs to continue to keep selling hardware.

  • inviolable

    What the

  • cristian cristiandonose

    Well i think the end is near for Blackberry. Look at Palm , what happened with it?

  • http://youtube.com/user/jawckamoe Marcus

    I think that’d be pretty awesome for Android. I’ve heard a lot of people want Blackberry Messenger and that’s why they won’t switch to Android. It’d be awesome if Samsung could provide that.

  • cthonctic

    Somehow this sounds like Samsung would do to RIM what HP did to Palm. If it were true, that is.

    I can’t really see the huge benefit Samsung would have for their Android devices in any case. BBs are trending downwards very obviously and even BBM doesn’t really have any strong pull anymore.

    If it was to work on QNX / BB10 / whatever they end up calling their supposed new thing before invariably RIM tanks on its own, then maybe ok. But buying RIM to shut down BB production and only use their services and software expertise? That sounds rather silly and not worth the money.

  • Slith

    I’d wait six months and that $10 billion will have dropped to $2.

  • Jeb

    This would be interesting and possibly very good for Android. However, I think it would be best for RIM to be aquired by Google.

    While the Blackberry OS would probably be dropped, they could integrate the BB services into the Android platform and allow companies to run Android servers.

  • kungpaodragon

    As much as I would love to see it, I don’t see it happening. RIM would has to be in a pretty desperate position. And I would agree with some of others, it would be even nicer to see RIM acquired by Google. But again, don’t see it happening because anti-trust and all that. Could see Google, RIM, and Samsung working together, though.

  • Billy

    Interesting .. I am not sold on this rumor yet .. will be excited to see what happens.

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    I read on another site that Samsung published an official response saying that they do no intent to purchase RIM nor did RIM approached them for a merger http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/us-rim-idUSTRE80G1Q520120117.

  • VASRA

    As usual, BGR is full of cr*p and the rumour has been denied already.

    It would make no sense either, regardless of what the armchair analysts think.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    Here’s what I hope Samsung does if this happens…

    1. Integrate new fancy custom apps/widgets into TouchWiz to make it better.
    2. Make TouchWiz disableable for those of us who want Vanilla.
    3. Make the same new fancy custom apps/widgets available for purchase for stand-alone installation on older Samsung and non-Samsung phones.

    The thing I want to talk about here is specifically point #3. Think about it. Samsung is all about selling their products for money. Everybody thinks the phones are their only products but it’s really not. Their software is also their product, so why not sell it as well? Give it to people who buy their phones “for free” (yeah, I’m sure the cost of the product pays for it each time) but why not also sell it to users of other phones? I mean, how much profit does Samsung make on each phone they sell? I don’t know but let’s say $200. Now how much profit does Samsung make on each phone that their competitors sell? I bet that’s $0. So why not capitalize on sales from their competitors as well by creating good software and selling it? If they create good software, then some amount of people who like it and then buy a competing device will go back and buy the Samsung software because it’s what they want.

    Now take this idea a little further and what are we doing? Well, we’re now starting to take all of the things that are in point #1 and make them no longer deeply-integrated into Android but as removable addons. I would LOVE to see TouchWiz essentially be a set of removable addons so that way point #2 is much easier to attain. And take this idea even further and what do we see? We now see that Samsung no longer has tons of custom software deeply integrated into Android which means it’s much easier for them to release newer versions of Androids for more phones while separately maintaining their TouchWiz apps and using the Market to deploy and update those. And then BAM, we have a MUCH better system for everybody involved.

    Just my $0.02 worth…

  • eric

    “Android devices with Blackberry software”… What does that even mean? That they might lay part of Blackberry OS on top of Android? That sounds like a nightmare to me… I would think they’d be more interested in acquiring RIM for their patents, not their software that is fading and losing interest and market share…

  • Jon

    I would much rather see Google (they have already acquired Motorola Mobility) buy out RIM, as I believe they would be more successful in the defense and corporate industries.

    All that aside, merging BlackBerry’s email server architectures and BlackBerry Messenger into Android would make Android much more attractive to the corporate & public sector markets. Build me a high-end stock (i.e. no MotoBlur or HTC Sense) Android phone with a genuine BlackBerry keyboard and you have a winner.

    • yvolk

      Agree, and these “Google Blackberry services” may be part of Google applications allowed for Google-certified devices only . So they may become another instrument of Android platform unification.

  • Donald

    I tink its a good move an Ppl don’t 4get that blackberry are the most secured phone out, and whatsapp wat ppl talkn about is not really a secure messenger, every is seen plain unlike bbm where its scrambled or encrypted

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    Buying RIM would also mean Samsung could have access to an important piece of the business market. They are not at all wrong to purchase RIM. They have patents that can aid Samsung in “other ways”, but I think the business users are the greatest advantage.

  • Steve Barry

    Oh yeah, the business market is really the only thing keeping blackberry alive right now as it is. I think a big piece of this is the encryption piece. That’s the one thing, in my opinion, that’s holding Android back at the moment. Sure, personal cell phone users don’t mind for the most part, but if you want to grab some of the business segment, this is an absolute must. Apple already has it, which is why it seems the iPhone is already starting to sprout up in the business market for company issued cell phones. If Android can get it together on that front, it’ll be a new ballgame.

  • Michelle Clark

    It’s a better chat experience. It’s always logged in, coordinates with your calendar when you are out (which I think chat does now); it’s easy to maneuver & it’s not a huge battery drain–well nothing bberry is a battery drain unlike Android.

    It’s instantaneous; no waiting & no lagging. A perfect IM client. You can form groups & have group chats within a department. You can post a comment to the entire group or an individual. If chat has that, I don’t know about it. For a business the groups tied into the email/server so you could look up a group without having to add people one by one & form groups.
    Our PC dept used it all the time to communicate to each other instead of text. It was more reliable than text. When we started on the iPhones, they had to go back to text–they hated it. Now I think they use a 3rd party, still not as reliable.