Research In Motion is currently weighing every single option it can think of in an effort to reverse a negative trend that is approaching a boiling point for investors. Reports that RIM is currently in talks to license its software to other vendors are accurate according to our trusted sources, though we have been told that RIM is most likely leaning toward an outright sale of one or more divisions, or even the whole company. The front runner, we have been told by a trusted source with knowledge of the situation, is Samsung, which might be interested in RIM for a number of reasons.
Rumors again surfaced on Wednesday suggesting that Nokia plans to sell its smartphone business to Microsoft. Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank, issued a report to clients Wednesday morning that said Nokia will sell its smartphone division to Microsoft during the first half of 2012. Danske raised its rating on Nokia stock to Buy from Hold, and shares rose more than 3% on the news. Similar rumors first surfaced in May when an industry insider said Nokia and Microsoft were about to enter negotiations for a deal that could close before the end of 2011. Nokia immediately denied the rumor, though subsequent reports indicated that the two companies had in fact entered into discussions. ”We put these rumors to rest a long time ago,” a Nokia spokesperson said in response to Danske Bank’s new report.
HP is reportedly holding a meeting Tuesday night during which it may decide the fate of its webOS mobile platform, The Verge reported on Tuesday. The meeting will take place after the market closes and will be led by CEO Meg Whitman at 4:30 p.m. PST. According to Reuters, HP has been toying with the idea of selling the unit and possible suitors include Amazon, Intel, Oracle, Research In Motion and IBM. The potential sale will likely fetch far less than the $1.2 billion that HP paid to acquire Palm in 2010. HP originally said it was killing off webOS hardware in August, and recent reports have suggested HP will soon put the final nail in the webOS coffin and subsequently lay off 500 webOS employees. More →
Following recent rumblings surrounding discontent atop Yahoo’s executive chain, the struggling Internet company fired its CEO Carol Bartz. In the same stroke, Yahoo! also revealed that it is for sale. News broke Tuesday night that former chief executive Carol Bartz sent an email to the entire Yahoo organization. In her brief note, she stated that Yahoo’s chairman of the board had fired her — over the phone, no less. Yahoo confirmed the news, stating that Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse would step in as interim CEO while the company searches for a new chief. Following the news, a Yahoo employee speaking with The Wall Street Journal also confirmed that the company would be open to selling itself. “Yahoo is open to selling itself to the right bidder,” the Journal wrote. No additional details were provided. Carol Bartz’s full email to Yahoo staff follows below. More →
While Michael Dell laughs it up on Twitter, a new report suggests that Samsung could be preparing to purchase Hewlett-Packard’s PC business, which the company revealed it may soon spin off. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Samsung may be eyeing a purchase of HP’s PC division, which would catapult the South Korea-based electronics giant past Dell and into the No. 1 PC vendor spot globally. The report states that Samsung is currently meeting with various leading manufacturers including Quanta and Compal to investigate outsourcing the production of its own netbook computers. Samsung has held similar meetings in the past to no avail, but anonymous source tell DigiTimes that the company may be particularly motivated this time around as it negotiates a deal to take over HP’s PC business and free up space to build the machines in its own factories. HP announced last week that it may spin off its PC business, but a sale is also possible according to this new report, which suggests that HP’s announcement was “testing the market’s reaction” as the company weighs its options. More →
Apple on Tuesday began selling unlocked iPhone 4 handsets in the U.S. a day earlier than expected. The smartphone is now available in 16GB for $649 or 32GB for $749, and both models come in black or white. Other manufacturers, most notably Nokia and Sony, have sold unlocked smartphones in the U.S. for quite some time. Neither company has seen much success with unlocked handsets thus far, though Apple’s approach is somewhat different. Apple’s primary sales channels in the U.S. are undoubtedly carriers, and the availability of unlocked smartphones simply addresses the needs of a small secondary market that is willing to pay for phones outright rather than spreading the cost of their devices over two years. As an added benefit, buyers of unlocked iPhones will be able to switch freely between GSM carriers, though some surgery may be involved with carriers that do not offer micro-SIM cards. With just a few months between the start of the summer and the expected launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone, the availability of unlocked devices will allow also users to purchase iPhones now and then make a subsidized purchase in September, or whenever Apple finally does release the iPhone 5. More →
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop once again addressed rumors of a possible sale of Nokia’s phone business. Rumors emerged on Wednesday suggesting Samsung was preparing to bid on Nokia’s cell phone division, but Elop addressed them on Thursday while speaking to The Wall Street Journal. Elop insisted that the rumors are “completely groundless.” The CEO continued, “Nokia is not for sale.” While Elop has been steady with his message, there is of course wiggle room in his choice of words. Neither the initial report suggesting a deal had been struck with Microsoft nor the subsequent Samsung rumor suggested that Nokia, as a company, was up for sale. Instead, these reports — at least one of which is well-sourced — suggest Nokia may be shopping a portion of its business; specifically, the cell phone division, which has been spiraling downward as Nokia’s market share diminishes rapidly. More →
Amazon on Monday revealed a new discounted version of its popular Kindle eBook reader. Amazon’s announcement came on the same day Barnes & Noble announced its all-new NOOK eReader. When asked during a Q&A session after Monday’s press conference if Barnes & Noble would ever consider releasing an ad-supported NOOK, CEO William Lynch laughed and said it was highly unlikely — but Amazon seems to be having some success with the ad-supported model. Joining the company’s $114 ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle is the new $164 Kindle 3G, which gives consumers the option of saving $25 and dealing with advertisements. The device is otherwise identical to the standard Kindle 3G, which features a Pearl E Ink display, a full QWERTY keypad and free 3G connectivity. Hit the break for the full press release. More →