RIM Considering Selling Off Its Handset Business, Newspaper Reports

When you say "Research in Motion," most people think "BlackBerry." A new report claims that the two terms might not stay synonymous going forward, however; Britain's Sunday Times newspaper (paywalled) says that RIM may split itself into two separate companies -- one for handsets, and another for its messaging service -- and sell off the poor-performing phone division, possibly to Facebook or Amazon.

Selling off the messaging service isn't out of the question either, the publication reports, though it fails to cite any sources for the information. Other rumored options include allowing other companies to utilize RIM's messaging service framework or possibly selling a sizeable stake of the entire company -- handsets, messaging service and all -- to a mammoth technology company like Microsoft.

CEO Thorsten Heins has said in the past that he'd be open to selling the company, but it wasn't his first option.

Last month, RIM hired JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to conduct a "strategic review" of its business, "including opportunities to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives."

The possibilities outlined by the Sunday Times definitely fall into those categories. However, Britain's Globe and Mail reports that RIM's management "do not currently take the idea seriously," citing former top executives.

Via Reuters