John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

RIM’s Not a Takeover Target if No One Wants It

Hard to fathom that Research In Motion was once an $83 billion company. But back in 2008 it was. These days it’s significantly less than that — a $15 billion company. And the ugly decline in shareholder value between those two figures, coupled with RIM’s strategic missteps, has some folks wondering if the company might be a takeover target.

Thing is, implicit in the phrase “takeover target” is the idea that someone actually desires the target in question. And in RIM’s case, I’m not quite sure that’s true.

Could anyone buy RIM? Sure. Microsoft and Dell have both been rumored as potential acquirers in the past, and the latest speculation singles them out again.

But why would they?

RIM’s hopeless downward spiral is the result of missteps and flaws that go way beyond its inability to meet guidance. RIM has failed to innovate. It has failed to execute. It has failed to understand the consumer market, which is increasingly informing enterprise support and purchasing decisions. And its comedy-of-errors management has consistently refused to take responsibility for those failures, because it doesn’t seem to see them as a problem.

Is there anyone willing to spend $15 billion plus premium on that? The chance to turn around RIM’s foundering business? The chance to arrive late-to-market with another ill-conceived BlackBerry? To make sense of the BlackBerry OS-to-QNX transition? And then to go head-to-head with Apple and Google, which have been wiping the floor with newcomers and pioneers both?

Seems highly unlikely.

Perhaps someone will buy it for parts further down the line when they won’t have to pay such a premium. It’s getting cheaper every day …

[Image credit: The Joy of Tech]


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google