TheVerge reads behind the Sunday Times’ firewall:
The Sunday Times reports today that RIM is considering a plan to split its handset division and messaging network into two separate companies, and will sell off the struggling BlackBerry hardware business. The British paper doesn’t cite any sources in the report, but it says that Facebook and Amazon are both “potential buyers.” As part of this plan, RIM could keep its enterprise-friendly messaging and data network (including BBM and BIS) in-house and license them out.
BBM and BES only run on Blackberry now, and that platform will have a market share heading toward zero by the time RIM gets all of this organizational structure sorted. So keeping that a separate business makes little sense.
The other option is selling out piecemeal to Microsoft for parts and people. I imagine that by then, the price of RIM will get so low, even Apple and Google would be interested in picking up the parts (patents, people, and tech). Microsoft is probably already lining up some cash to buy the remnants of Nokia as well, so it is less likely to pick up RIM (although it made several attempts to pick up RIM in the past).
Moreover, RIM’s QNX/Blackberry 10 might have some value for companies like Dell, HP (which recently fumbled WebOS), Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, or ASUS due to Microsoft now building its own tablets and scaring OEMs.
That split could also see Cisco or Oracle taking the backend stuff.
Any way you look at it, on the fifth anniversary of iPhone, Blackberry —as we knew it— is almost over.