Should RIM Buy Handspring?

We’ve written many times about RIM’s struggle to be in the hardware and software business. Lately they seem to be moving toward the software side by licensing their software to rivals Nokia, Palm and Handspring. But maybe it would make more sense for them to just buy Handspring suggests Seamus McAteer of the Zelos Group. McAteer points out that RIM would benefit from Handspring’s CDMA and GSM products as well as relationships with carriers. Maybe. I don’t think RIM really needs as much help in this area as McAteer suggests. What they will gain is hardware based on the Palm OS which addresses a key stumbling block for RIM, getting developers to write software for their devices. The big problem with RIM devices is that you pay a lot for a great email device that can’t do much else. Switching to the Palm OS would instantly make their devices more appealing by extending their functionality. Plus they would have an additional differentiator to take on upstarts like Good. The Handspring group could focus on the hardware and the RIM group could focus on enterprise email.

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