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With The Nokia Deal Finalized Does Microsoft Have Their Eyes Set On Rim?

I guess the better question is, with a partnership with Nokia to do Windows Phone 7 devices, and a possibility of acquiring RIM, does Microsoft need to buy everyone but Apple to compete with Android?

Bloomberg is reported Monday that after a dismal quarter and everyone fleeing, the once matriarch of the smartphone, could RIM be poised to attract a takeover?  Are the top candidates for a takeover Dell and Microsoft?

RIM plunged last week after they reported that quarterly sales would drop for the first time in 9 years.  Blackberry started losing ground in 2007 with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone and the subsequent 4 years as both Apple and Google’s Android have eaten away at RIM’s core enterprise business.

Although RIM’s Co-CEO’s, Blackberry Creator, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie told Bloomberg that their commitment to RIM is “Stronger than ever” analysts and bankers who oversee a good portion of RIM stock, think that the Waterloo Canada based company is ripe for a takeover.

More after the break

Paul Taylor who oversees $14.5 billion dollars in assets including RIM shares, told Bloomberg “Given how significant the deterioration of the stock price has been, that alone will cause interest,” in regards to a possible takeover.

Taylor went on to speculate “It’s not hard to envision a stock price that’s somewhere between $40 and $50 a share” in an acquisition, he said.

Analysts feel that Microsoft would benefit from acquiring RIM’s enterprise customer base. Microsoft has seen significant decline in their smartphone customer base this year, despite having launched Windows Phone 7.  Acquiring RIM and their built in customer base would help stop that bleeding.  Microsoft could continue to grow it’s WP7 product for general consumers, especially considering the manufacturing relationship with Nokia.  At the same time they could focus on enterprise business with the acquisition of RIM/Blackberry.

The other possible takeover candidate is Dell.  Dell’s founder Michael Dell has been trying to get into this “Post PC Era” with the launch of the Dell Streak and Dell Streak 7 with dismal results as well as the WP7 “Venue Pro”.  Dell hasn’t seen a heyday since their phone order business, before shipping to big box retailers like Best Buy and Walmart.  In fact Bloomberg data shows their share in the pc market has fallen 32%

Dell is looking for a strategy for the Post PC era, and to expand it’s footprint in the mobile space. Stuart Jeffrey an analyst with Nomura Holdings Inc in NY told Bloomberg “Dell is clearly trying to build a handset business and found it difficult,”

Whatever the outcome, RIM needs to do something fast.  Who do you think would actually pull off an acquisition of Blackberry?

Source: Bloomberg

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