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RIM is so popular! Amazon, Microsoft, Nokia have all mulled buyout

Separate reports Wednesday morning show that Research in Motion, despite being battered this year for everything from outages to late products to lost market share, hasn’t been without its admirers.

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning  that Microsoft and Nokia have toyed with the idea of making a bid for RIM, whose stock has plummeted (from about $59 to start the year to about $14 in mid-December) and whose management team has been under fire from investors. The Journal reports that the status of any talks between Microsoft, Nokia and RIM are unclear. Other scuttlebutt is that RIM executives have hit up Samsung and HTC about possible licensing deals.

TIMELINE: RIM’s very bad year 

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Separately, Reuters is reporting that Amazon hired an investment banker over the summer to explore buying RIM, but that a formal offer was never made.  The two companies do already work together, such as by making Amazon’s music service available to BlackBerry users.

Word is that RIM wants to stay independent, though 2012 is already a huge concern in that the company has said it will delay by months – until late next year -- the release of phones based on its new QNX operating system. The company is still banking on its enterprise network strengths, and is making moves such as extending its expertise in mobile device management to Android and Apple iOS devices, to turn things around.

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