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IBM has eyes on RIM enterprise-services unit, report says

So far, IBM has reportedly held only informal talks, and RIM may not be willing to sell the division until it can see how BlackBerry 10 fares.

Will Thorsten Heins sell off the BlackBerry Services division?
Will Thorsten Heins sell off the BlackBerry Services division? RIM

Research In Motion has been approached by IBM to discuss a possible sale of the BlackBerry maker's enterprise-services division, a new report claims.

IBM has so far held informal discussions about picking up RIM's enterprise-services division, which includes the network that powers its e-mail platform, among other software, Bloomberg is reporting today, citing sources. According to Bloomberg's sources, IBM has made it clear to RIM that it doesn't want to acquire the entire company.

RIM has said publicly that it believes it can turn things around, despite plummeting device sales and rampant delays that have pushed its possible savior, BlackBerry 10, back to early next year. Realizing that RIM is in deep trouble, other companies have reportedly sniffed around to see whether there's anything the BlackBerry maker might want to unload. However, no companies so far have expressed an interest in acquiring RIM outright, according to Bloomberg's sources.

Although RIM is reportedly willing to hear IBM out, Bloomberg's sources claim that the company isn't willing to sell anything until it can see how BlackBerry 10 performs. RIM has said that it believes BlackBerry 10, the operating system that will run on its next hardware line, could help reverse its fortunes.

However, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said last week in an interview with the Telegraph that he would consider licensing BlackBerry 10 to device makers. He didn't say which companies might be interested in licensing the software, but a report earlier this week suggested that Samsung was considering doing so. Samsung quickly followed that report with a statement saying it would not license BlackBerry 10.

CNET has contacted both RIM and IBM for comment on the Bloomberg report. We will update this story when we have more information.

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