Samsung: We NEVER sniffed around RIM... or BlackBerry licence
OS rental rumours denied after analyst causes stock flutter
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. ®
The thing is that when a company is in difficulty their shares tend to be volatile.............
...........and this results in the stripy shirted sharks trying a few tricks as far as market manipulation goes. We have seen this about three times in the last year or so with Nokia shares - rumour being in each case that someone was about to make a bid for the company (the alleged suitors were, respectively, MS, Samsung and recently Lenovo. The technique in itself is straightforward and (if it works) very cheap to carry out. You spread rumours to create an artificial jump in the share price, you then borrow shares in that company from some broker (without having to pay for them at the time) and "short sell" at the artificially high price only to buy again when the air has gone out of the balloon that you yourself created and pocket the difference. Of course, if for any reason the price remains at the higher level for the whole period of the loan of the shares or (much worse) goes even higher, you end up taking the mother of all baths. Analysts' market intelligence is in part based on rumours of course. This is understandable and not in and of itself suspicious, however, it can mean that their sources may be being deliberately poisoned by the above mentioned stripy shirted sharks.
We may be arguing different things here. I think Nokia is a failing company, in the sense that they lose money hand over fist and they have no clear strategy for making profit in the future, other than hoping WP becomes fashionable (SPOILER ALERT: it won't). It's too far behind development. For that reason they need to sit at the back of the class, in the corner. I don't know anyone or see anyone who uses a WP phone. Where are they all?
Umm... Nokia's sales have continued to slip for over a year. They made a loss the first half of the year. They're cutting 10,000. Just check their Wikipedia page. And we already know what will happen with the Symbian to Windows transition. It already failed. The market isn't magically going to turn around and adore WinPhone, no matter how much better it is than other OSs. The dye has been cast.