A BlackBerry handset is displayed in Washington
A BlackBerry handset is displayed in Washington, December 15, 2011. REUTERS

Samsung has been rumored to be interested in purchasing Research In Motion, the company that makes BlackBerry smartphones, but Samsung has now denied it has any interest in the Canadian company. Samsung doesn't want to buy them and they won't be doing any software licensing of BlackBerry software either, a Reuters report said Jan. 17. All the buyout talk around RIM comes in large part from the terrible sales performance of its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. A drastic price reduction has helped, but the company has pretty much taken a bath in the seven-inch devices since their launch in mid-2011.

There is a software update being readied for the PlayBook, and it should be ready by the end of February. It will include access to Android apps and install email and calender apps the device had been lacking. PlayBook 2.0 could help attract people to the now discount tablet just for the apps alone, but there is also a PlayBook 3G coming in April. Furthermore, RIM plans to debut an entirely new mobile operating system this summer called BlackBerry 10, and even a rumored 10-inch tablet by the end of the year.

The problem with that is there won't be very many apps for the new system when it goes live. Certainly nowhere near the almost one million apps available from Apple and Android. The year old Windows Phone system from Microsoft has around 50,000 apps and people still aren't buying them. Microsoft has a deal to work with Nokia, and their devices are just now arriving in the U.S., so things may turn around for them. For BlackBerry, the future is much less certain. Businesses still use their devices quite a bit, but they haven't inspired much excitement in the consumer world it seems. Tell us in the comments if you've tried out the PlayBook or what you think of BlackBerry devices.