BII Express: Yes, RIM Is Going To Sell Itself

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Yes, RIM Is Going To Sell Itself
A rumour going around trading floors right now is that Research In Motion has retained Goldman Sachs to advise on selling itself or other “strategic options”.

Regardless of whether the rumour is true, we don’t think RIM has a future as an independent company. It’s in a platform game with an inferior product, and has shown time and time again that it can’t catch up. The company still has very good assets, like its corporate email software and patents, but those assets would be best at home in another company. 

RIM selling itself in 2012 was one of our predictions for the year →

In other Friday the 13th news…

Home decor flash sales site Fab has acquired FashionStake, a fashion e-commerce site. Fab is expanding beyond its home decor market into fashion. It’s been a noisy week for flash sales, pointing to a looming shakeout in the industry.

The owner of flash sale site Rue La La is laying off half of its staff, according to the Boston Business Journal. Coming on the heels of layoffs at the Gilt Groupe, it may point to further trouble in the flash sale market as we discussed in a recent BI Intellgence Express →

Video game hardware sales are down across the board but Xbox 360 software sales remain strong, according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Edward S. Williams. This shouldn’t be surprising because we’re at the end of the games console cycle and consumers aren’t idiots, and the next generation systems that will be central to the “digital living room” are right around the corner.

Amazon now competes with “private” clouds touted by large enterprise software vendors by allowing customers to access its cloud services through a network that bypasses the internet. This moves shows just how ambitious and competitive Amazon is in the cloud space.

Zynga just poached the head of EA Interactive, Barry Cottle, the company has announced. It’s a big hire, and a sign that inside the game industry at least, people believe in Zynga’s future.

Hulu booked revenues of $420 million in 2011 with 1.5 million paying subscribers, according to a blog post from CEO Jason Kilar. He also revealed they expect to invest $500 million on content this year.

Google and YouTube think video will be 90% of all web traffic soon, says Robert Kyncl, the VP for content. That’s not out of the realm of possibility if you consider other stats he shared during his talk at CES today, such as: people watch 3 billion hours of video on YouTube every month. But as paidContent points out, it’s still not clear how YouTube (or other video sites) can more successfully monetise content and be a complete alternative to TV.

Foursquare has launched the web version of “Explore,” its feature to help customise search results for restaurants and other places based on users’ friends and others’ tips. Explore was added to the mobile Foursquare app a few months ago. The web version may give some competition to other sites like Yelp or Google: it lets you search by adjective and adds a social layer that other sites don’t necessarily include.

Facebook has just added a new feature: “listen with” allows users to DJ (ie, listen to) music with friends within the Facebook chat app. This has potential, and is also bad news for, which provides a similar service. The big difference is that on Turntable, you share music listening with mostly strangers, while on Facebook, you share with friends.

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