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RIM Considers Split, Handset Unit Sell-Off

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ZDNet: If a report that appeared in The Sunday Times over the weekend is accurate, the end could be near for RIM. According to unnamed sources, the Canadian company is considering selling off its BlackBerry smartphone unit while retaining or licensing to others its data network and BlackBerry Messenger software. The report speculated that Amazon or Facebook might be interested in buying the BlackBerry hardware business.

The report also mentions the possibility that another firm, such as Microsoft, could buy RIM in its entirety. In May, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said that if the company posted another quarterly loss (as it is expected to do), they would “evaluate the relative merits and feasibility of various financial strategies, including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives.”

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