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Samsung: We NEVER sniffed around RIM... or BlackBerry licence

OS rental rumours denied after analyst causes stock flutter

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Samsung has once again slapped down rumours that were circulating about Samsung licensing RIM's next OS. Yesterday's prediction, which came in the form of a note to clients from a veteran analyst, pushed RIM's shares up 6 per cent. But Samsung was in touch with news agency Reuters first thing this morning to say it wasn't even considering such a deal.

Analyst Peter Misek put out a note to his clients last night saying that Samsung was sniffing around RIM with a view to licensing the OS or even buying the company, assuming that Blackberry 10 arrives on time and impresses the market.

Samsung is anything but loyal when it comes to platforms. At one point the Korean company was making flagship handsets running Symbian, Android and Windows Phone, while at same time pushing its own Bada platform and any number of localised variants. Samsung was also a member of LiMo, and LiPs, and let's not forget Tizen - the MeeGo detritus which is still getting life support from Samsung and Intel.

RIM is still deciding how to make best of its declining situation, and has hired banks to examine the business with licensing out the new OS being one of the options on the table.

But it's hard to think of examples where a hardware company has successfully licensed out its software - Apple licensed, then recanted, Palm licensed, then bought the licensees, then sold and licensed back before giving up and developing WebOS instead. HP then tried to licence out WebOS, but discovered that no one wanted it... it looks like RIM might end up in the same unenviable position.

The Linux kernel now provides a foundation onto which anyone can create an OS with minimal effort, so to sell an OS you need something really special. Microsoft's momentum makes Windows sell, on desktop and mobile, but RIM's killer application is its messaging and email services, both of which Samsung has replicated in Bada and neither of which is RIM likely to sell.

It's worth remembering that the same analyst predicted that Apple would be launching a cheapo iPhone in 2009, measuring a third the size of the existing models. He also assured investors that the iPad would be delayed, or perhaps limited to America, thanks to production problems which never materialised. He's probably been right equally often, but the El Reg's pages only seem to list his failures. ®

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