Samsung says not considering buying RIM or BlackBerry license

SEOUL Thu Aug 9, 2012 1:18pm IST

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at the company's headquarters in Seoul July 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Lee Jae-Won

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SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co said on Thursday it has not considered acquiring Research In Motion or licensing the embattled BlackBerry phone maker's new mobile operating system.

A lack of support from potential partners such as Samsung could mean more trouble for RIM, which is seeking various options to turn around its embattled business.

Shares of RIM had risen more than 5 percent early on Wednesday after an influential analyst said it may license the BlackBerry 10 system to Samsung.

"RIM has already lost its initiative in the smartphone market and what is left doesn't look really attractive to the likes of Samsung," said Lee Sei-cheol, an analyst at Meritz Securities. "Should they have a deep patent pool, that might be the most appealing asset to potential acquirers."

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, is the biggest seller of phones that run on Google Inc's Android system, but it also makes phones using Microsoft's Windows as well as its proprietary software called bada.

Its strategy of making phones with multiple platforms had raised speculation it may also license BlackBerry's system to stretch its lead over rivals such as Apple and diversify away from Google, which now owns a handset manufacturing business after acquiring Motorola Mobility.

RIM plans to use its new operating system, known as BB10, in a next-generation line of BlackBerrys expected to launch early next year. It is considered RIM's last hope of reversing BlackBerry's steady decline in market share.

RIM's shares have fallen more than 80 percent since the beginning of 2011 when Apple and other smartphone makers started to widen their lead on RIM, which once dominated the business.

Shares in Samsung closed up 1.5 percent on Thursday, versus a 2 percent rise in the broader market.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Matt Driskill)