With the tumultuous fall in the global financial markets, stock prices of prized telecom companies are looking relatively cheap these days. RIM, the maker of the venerable BlackBerry, has fallen from a high of $150/share, to a recent trading range of $55 – $70/share. That precipitous decline is fueling rumors that Microsoft may make a bid for RIM. Light Reading’s Unstrung speculated on Monday that Microsoft may make a move if RIM’s shares fall to the $50/share range. Such a move would catapult Microsoft into the role of the number two global smartphone supplier, behind only Nokia. But in the important U.S. market, Microsoft would be smartphone king, since Nokia’s global lead comes from European and Asian markets. A RIM acquisition would also help Microsoft counter their current arch nemesis, Google, and the upcoming G1 smartphone.
Of course this is all wild speculation. Neither Microsoft nor RIM is commenting. I could envision rampant opposition from both RIM and the Canadian government. If a deal does eventually happen (which is probably remote), let’s all prey that Microsoft engineers are barred from Canada and there is absolutely zero attempt to integrate Windows Mobile with the BlackBerry operating system. Leave a good thing alone, please!