International Business Machines (IBM) is interested in the enterprise services unit of Research In Motion (RIM), a new report suggests.
Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the situation”, Bloomberg says that IBM has approached RIM “about possibly acquiring” the struggling Canadian smartphones and tablets maker’s enterprise services division.
Nonetheless, the approach is described by the publication as “informal” and no official talks are ongoing between the two companies.
The acquisition makes sense for IBM as RIM’s enterprise services division will add to its strong offering of services for businesses.
IBM has long left the consumer space selling its personal computer manufacturing business to Chinese company Lenovo in 2004 in a deal valued at $1.75 billion.
The company has moved towards an enterprise-centered model since then.
However, if RIM sells its enterprise services division, it will be selling one if not its most-prized unit. Its enterprise unit handles secure servers connected with its BlackBerry services.
RIM achieved its height riding on secure data transfer through its devices which was exactly why businesses once liked the company and the devices it sold.
Nevertheless, as Apple’s iPhone and devices running on Google’s Android mobile operating system have become more secure in the past years, BlackBerry has lost its steam.
The BlackBerry platform tallied the largest decline among smartphone platforms for the second quarter of the year In the US with a drop of 1.6 percentage points to settle at 10.7 percent market share compared to its 12.3 percent share in the first quarter of the years, according to the latest data from comScore.
Android has gained 0.6 of a percentage point in the second quarter to take a 51.6 percent market share while Apple’s iOS platform added 1.7 percentage points to tally a 32.4 percent market share in the US smartphone market.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s report indicates that RIM’s enterprise division is valued at $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion.
Recently, RIM has been in the news for rumors that Samsung may be out to acquire the business outright or license its BlackBerry 10 operating system. Samsung has dispelled this saying “Samsung Electronics has not considered the acquisition of Research in Motion or licensing BB10.”
A lot is riding on the BB10 operating system and the new line of smartphones RIM will have for it.
The new OS is exactly what RIM is waiting for to decide whether to sell or not to sell itself or parts of its business, observers say.
RIM wants to value BB10 first after its launch before they sell their enterprise division or any other part of the company in the future if they decide to pursue the idea.
Images from Official BlackBerry Images on Flickr (CC)