Are 2 BlackBerrys Better Than 1?


Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) baffled investors with its dual CEOs during last year's free fall, but is splitting the company in two going to be a smarter decision?

The Sunday Times is reporting that the BlackBerry maker is considering breaking up its business after posting what should be its first quarterly operating loss in more than a decade. That quarterly report comes on Thursday, and you know that analysts will be all over this if the company doesn't confirm or deny the chatter.

RIM's plan -- according to the British newspaper -- would be to separate its money-losing hardware business from its still thriving messaging and data network.

Finding a buyer for its BlackBerry handset business would be the logical solution, but it remains to be seen who would be up for that kind of challenge.

Analysts see RIM barely breaking even on a 36% decline in revenue when the company reports later this week. As BlackBerry sheds subscribers to Android and iPhones -- and Microsoft's (NAS: MSFT) reinvigorated Windows Phone push can't be discounted -- it's hard to see BlackBerry turning its fortunes around. The same IT departments that used to demand their enterprises stick to BlackBerry have caved to the more popular operating systems.

Isn't this the point of no return?

Who would buy RIM's handset business? Nokia (NYS: NOK) has scared off investors as a pure play in handsets. Samsung is doing just fine as the top Android disciple. Google (NAS: GOOG) did buy Motorola, but it was largely seen as a patent play. If RIM unloads its handset business, the real value rests in the messaging and data network that it plans to keep.

It's going to be an interesting week for RIM, that's for sure. We'll know more on Thursday.

RIM shot
There's no denying that the next trillion-dollar revolution will be in mobile (and that's not just lip service; it's the name of a new free special report that you can check it out now). However, no one seems to be inviting RIM to the revolution.

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