After reading the news about layoffs at RIM and the delays to their next major product launch, I tweeted this.
Afterwards I thought some more about who would really be the best company to buy RIM. I don’t have many fond memories of Blackberry products, having battled with their early handsets and Blackberry Enterprise Server software back when the handsets still had serial-connected docks.
But there is no denying that for a good number of years they have been dominant in different parts of the consumer and business sectors.
Should Apple Buy RIM?
Why do I think Apple should buy RIM? Well aside from the success of the iPhone, Apple also has the world’s most popular consumer tablet device. It is currently one of the most sought after pieces of “corporate jewellery”.
The challenge for IT departments, particularly those where security trumps most other factors, is integrating it securely into the environment in a way that is still useful and productive for the end user.
Since that has been one of RIM’s strengths – secure enterprise deployments – it may make sense for Apple to acquire their technology and integrate it directly into iOS.
If Apple is serious about owning the enterprise mobility space, why not buy what is (according to my reader survey) the second most popular platform for mobile access?
And do it now, while enterprise tablet adoption still has so far to go.
Should Microsoft Buy RIM?
One of the leading arguments for Microsoft buying RIM is simply so that Apple can’t.
Aside from that the reasons are in many ways the same. Microsoft has announced their Surface tablet, and although they are improving their own mobile device management tools, why not acquire a platform that has significant enterprise penetration already and integrate that technology into your new generation of mobile devices?
I actually think the timing might work against Microsoft in this case. Microsoft is putting the final touches on their Windows 8 OS lines now, and they tend to have 2-3 year cycles between major releases. Unless they were to add deep integration via a service pack release, acquiring BES now could mean too many years before the benefits begin to emerge.
Besides that, Microsoft seems to be putting all their focus in the mobile space on ActiveSync, improving the technology with every new release. Splitting their attention between ActiveSync and BES as separate technologies may not be a good idea.
So what do you think, should Apple, Microsoft or some other company look to buy RIM now? Or should they all stand by and let them continue to die slowly as they have been the last year or more?