BlackBerry Maker RIM Considering Splitting Off, Selling Handset Division

According to a report from the Sunday Times, the struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion is considering splitting off and subsequently selling its handset division as part of a new long-term business strategy.

The company has been consulting with RBC and JP Morgan Chase, with the goal of settling on a long-term strategy that will put the company on a more solid financial footing going forward. The idea to split off and sell a handset division is just one of many options that the company is mulling, but it’s a likely scenario when you take into account the current struggles of RIM and CEO Thorsten Heins’ admission that the company’s Q1 report will likely indicate an operating loss for the quarter.

According to the report, RIM will settle on and announce what direction the company will take sometime this summer, with details coming possibly as soon as RIM’s earnings conference call this Thursday. It’s worth repeating that splitting off and selling the handset division is just one of many options under consideration – CEO Thorsten Heins has previously been adamant about not seeking buyout offers for RIM.

The Sunday Times report cites Facebook and Amazon as potential buyers should this scenario play out, but that sounds like unsupported conjecture at this point. If RIM sells off its handset division, RIM as we know it would exist only to license out its current line of enterprise services, like BlackBerry Messenger. Needless to say, what RIM decides will have a big effect on the projected BlackBerry 10 release later this year. The conference call this Thursday should give more information about the situation to those interested, so look forward to more details about this story soon.

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