RumorMill™: HP May Acquire RIM

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The price of Research in Motion’s stock shot up over 10% on Friday on rumors that it is going to be acquired by Hewlett Packard.

On Friday, RIM’s shares went from $24.08 to $27.28, a 13% increase. More than 14 million RIM shares traded, while 1.5 million is the average. This was caused by a rumor on Wall Street that the company was going to be bought out or undergo a hostile takeover, with HP’s name at the top of the list of companies doing the buying, according to Reuters.

RIM is the maker of the BlackBerry line. It is expert in creating cellular-wireless handhelds and owns a number of patents related to them. HP has said recently that it is in the process of developing its first cellular-wireless handheld and it might be planning to use RIM’s expertise to create future wireless iPAQs.

If so, then HP will be taking a page from some of its competitors’ playbooks. In April, Dell and Good Technologies announced a partnership to jointly develop handhelds with integrated mobile phones. And this summer Palm Inc. announced plans to buy Handspring, maker of the Treo line of smartphones.

The BlackBerry was originally mostly a device to allow the user to wirelessly access their email, but recent models offer web surfing and voice functionality. In addition, RIM’s suite of server applications that give users access to their corporate email is widely regarded as the best currently available.

HP’s Cellular-Wireless Plans

According to sources, HP is quietly demonstrating a prototype cellular-wireless handheld to some of its corporate clients. Reportedly, this will run on GPRS networks and include an integrated camera and flip cover. It will run on a Texas Instruments OMAP processor and have 64 MB of RAM.

No other details are available on this device at this time and, as a prototype, its feature set could change between now and the release. It isn’t expected to be available until 2004 and hasn’t had a product name assigned to it yet.

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