The thought of Samsung design and BlackBerry productivity is clearly appealing to Research in Motion investors, who gave the company a surprise boost on the market Wednesday after reports that the BlackBerry maker was talking about licensing its upcoming software to Samsung.
RIM shares jumped Wednesday after several media outlets picked up an investors’ note from analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies that said RIM may be reviving “discussions with Samsung regarding a BB10 licensing deal,” as All Things Digital reported. Others speculated that Samsung may be looking at an all-out acquisition of the fading handset maker.
But Samsung flatly denied the rumors to several media outlets, saying that it “has not considered the acquisition of Research in Motion or licensing BB10.”
RIM has made no secret of the fact that it may try to license out its delay-plagued operating system, which is expected to be released in January.
The company has talked openly about considering partnerships, and chief executive Thornsten Heins told the Telegraph last week that he was considering licensing agreements.
Samsung would logically be the first place anyone looking to license their smartphone system would stop, since it is the world’s largest smartphone maker and already makes phones on multiple platforms — though it’s primarily an Android handset maker. Adding a third platform could help Samsung shake its dependence on Google, Misek noted, something that is particularly important following the Motorola acquisition.
For RIM, a partnership seems like a strong option. The company does have a unique, enterprise market to offer any partners. And the company is keenly aware that having other people build the hardware for its phones could help with a major BlackBerry pain point — the price.
But it’s likely that manufacturers will want to get a feel of what the system is really like in the hands of consumers before they jump on board. In any case, Samsung says that talks with RIM are a no-go for now, and investors can continue their waiting game until 2013.
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