Samsung in frame again for BlackBerry licence
RIM CEO admits its cost structure is weak, as the major platforms continue to consolidate their power
Published: 8 August, 2012
RIM shares made their biggest leap in seven months on the revival of a favorite rumor, that Samsung is negotiating to license its BlackBerry 10 operating system or even buy the company. The latest speculation was started by Peter Misek, an analyst with Jefferies & Co, sending the stock up 4.4% to $7.63 after rising as much as 13% in the day.
"Samsung is considering ramping up its internal development efforts, licensing BB10 or buying RIM," Misek wrote in a client note, quoted by Bloomberg. But he did not commit himself too far, adding: "Samsung is undecided".
Although Samsung has previously denied any interest in acquiring RIM, the BlackBerry maker's new CEO Thorsten Heins has said he is open to licensing BB10, and last week went further in an interview, suggesting he believed such a move to be essential as the big platforms gain power. "To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it," he told The Telegraph. "There are different options we could do that we're currently investigating."
RIM certainly needs a radical solution if it is to stay in the smartphone OS game. According to IDC, BlackBerry OS shipmnents were down 40.9% year-on-year in the second quarter, gaining just 4.8% global market share on 7.4m units.
The usual quarterly string of reports on the smartphone market is appearing, with many disagreements, but one unifying theme - the rising dominance of the big two operating systems.
Although an earlier report had speculated that Android might have peaked in the US, research firm IDC says that, in global terms, the Google OS is still gaining momentum, with 104.8m smartphones shipped during the second quarter. This was a 106.5% increase over the year-ago period, giving Android 68.1% of the total base. That compared with 16.9% for iOS, on 26m shipments, as the company suffered from the wait for a new iPhone. However, its figure was still up 27.5% year-on-year.
Together, the two operating systems secured 85% of smartphone shipments during Q2, though another report, from Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley, said only Apple and Samsung make any profits - and indeed, because some of their rivals are lossmaking, actually achieved 108% of the handset industry's operating profit.
And in the US, Apple and Samsung together increased their Q2 sales by 43% year-on-year, according to another study by NPD Group. This found that the combined sales by other US smartphone vendors fell by 16%, hitting firms like Motorola, HTC and LG. In the quarter, Apple secured 31% of the US smartphone segment, with Samsung on 24%, HTC on 15%, Motorola 12% and LG just 6%. The pattern is very different from other geographies, where Samsung has taken the lead - in Europe in Q2, for instance, it had 45% share by some estimates.
Pages: 1 | 2