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Will RIM spin-off its handset business?

by Doug Drinkwater

June 25 2012

RIM may spin-off its handset business as a way in which to attract new investors
RIM may spin-off its handset business as a way in which to attract new investors

Canadian mobile maker Research in Motion may have faced something of a taxing 12 months, but is now reportedly considering splitting in two in order to attract investors, according to a new report.

This move looks likely to have come at the behest of JP Morgan and RBC Capital, the investment banks tasked with bringing new investors to the company, with The Sunday Times report (requires subscription) claiming that Facebook, Amazon and even Apple may be interested in buying the handset business, once separated from RIM's messaging unit.

Having once dominated the handset business with its BlackBerry smartphones and brought about the presence of smartphones in the workplace with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, RIM's stock has fallen sharply over the last 18 months.

The firm has been surpassed by Apple and Google’s Android in the smartphone market, while its highly-anticipated move into the tablet market with the PlayBook fell flat on the back of average usability and  a lack of truly usable applications.

As a result, RIM’s finances – once amongst fastest growing in the industry - have taken something of a battering, with the company revealing that its revenues fell 19% year-on-year in its fourth quarter, its first loss in seven years. RIM is expected to report its next quarterly revenues on Thursday.

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