Any time RIM sale rumor pops up, it’s going to make its way across the various tech and BlackBerry-centric blogs. Instead of slapping together a quick opinion piece with no real thought behind it, I’ve decided to wait and see the reactions from around the web, let it all incubate, and come up with something that I actually believe. That is, it’s not an opinion that, with further consideration, might change. Here’s what I’ve taken from all I’ve read: there’s really nothing to go on here. While RIM might be looking to sell its handset business, I’m fairly certain that it will be much more complex than a simple sale. That is, if it happens at all. The report originated in The Sunday Times, and so far as I can tell (the publication has a paywall), there are no sources cited for this claim. Every secondary source cites a previous report that RIM has hired JP Morgan and RBC Capital, but that appears the extent of it. Even ignoring the paper’s recent credibility issues, we probably shouldn’t be paying any mind to reports that cite no sources. Even reports from anonymous sources, or “sources who are familiar with RIM’s thinking” should be taken with a fine grain of salt. (And yet this crap still spreads like wildfire. Honestly, if this bit of news hadn’t appeared on literally every tech blog on the planet I’d have just as well ignored it.) Beyond the issues of sourcing, there’s an issue of believability. At CrackBerry Chris Umiatowski breaks down the meaning of a handset division sale. This is one reason why rushing to impulsive posts on topics such as this are a waste. Umiatowski covers the issue pretty authoritatively, and there’s nothing I can really add to his logic or conclusion. That is, the handset division by itself isn’t very valuable to other companies. It’s probably still valuable to RIM, at least in a way, since it gives them a vehicle for BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook platforms. But to another company, absent a platform? Hardly. Of course, RIM has already denied the report, calling it a “silly fantasy.” That’s a clever choice of words, given the situation. After all, an unsourced report can be legitimately termed a fantasy. And it appears that’s just what The Sunday Times has delivered. Unfortunately, in today’s internet economy such baseless speculation will spread through the internet as though it contains credibility. Welcome to the modern media.
Don’t believe the reports of RIM selling its hardware business
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