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Report: RIM Considering Selling Off Handset Division

It's no secret that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has been struggling as of late. The company is betting big on BlackBerry 10, hoping that its newest mobile operating system will be enough to turn things around. However, if recent rumors are to be believed, the company is also thinking about other ways to give the company a boost.

This past weekend, reports emerged that RIM was considering splitting itself into two companies and selling its hardware division off to a third party. The rumors stem from a Sunday Times article (via CNet) published yesterday say RIM is considering separating its handset division from its messaging network and selling off its hardware business. The paper names both Facebook and Amazon as potential buyers for RIM's hardware division.

The Sunday Times didn't divulge its sources for this information and RIM told CNet that it had hired advisers to "examine several ways to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities, and strategic business model alternatives." Canada's Globe and Mail writes that the idea of splitting the hardware and software divisions of RIM was first advanced by former RBC Dominion Securities analyst Mike Abramsky. However the paper later cites two former RIM executives as saying top managers do not currently take the idea seriously, and one said that “splitting the two would accomplish nothing."

BlackBerry 10 is due out later this year and was launched back in April. Based on QNX, which was acquired by RIM in 2010, the closed source operating system will bring RIM's smartphones closer to the BlackBerry PlayBook in terms of software.

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