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RIM Should Sell Itself: Readers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Amid mounting speculation about Research In Motion's (RIMM) future, TheStreet's readers say that the troubled handset maker should sell itself.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm, which recently reported worse-than-expected first-quarter results, is in the throes of a strategic review that will determine its next steps.

Set against this backdrop, there has been plenty of chatter that the BlackBerry maker would offer rich pickings for a host of companies, including Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), Amazon (AMZN - Get Report), HTC or Facebook (FB - Get Report).

TheStreet's readers think that a sale would be the best exit strategy, with 43% of respondents to a recent RIM poll saying the company should put itself on the block. Some 18% replied that the gadget maker should carve off parts of its business.

Tellingly, just over 15% of readers said that RIM CEO Thorsten Heins should execute a turnaround plan, highlighting the lack of confidence in the company.

A similar number of respondents said RIM should liquidate itself.

Commenters on the poll also urged RIM to merge with Nokia (NOK - Get Report) or, in another instance, to go private and execute its turnaround plan away from the glare of publicly traded scrutiny.

Slammed by repeatedly delayed product launches and increasingly fierce competition, RIM's shares have plunged more than 73% over the past 12 months.

RIM's review encompasses all of its "strategic opportunities," including partnerships, licensing and joint ventures, according to Heins. Speaking during the company's first-quarter conference call, the CEO said that RIM would also consider "other ways to leverage RIM's assets" and increase shareholder value, but did not offer specific details.

The company, however, recently quashed a U.K. newspaper report that it's considering splitting in two, separating handset manufacturing from its messaging network.

Despite its struggles, RIM has a full product roadmap, according to the BlackBerryOS.com blog, which says that the company is looking to launch several new products in 2013.

RIM shares fell 5.3% to $7.67 on Monday.

TheStreet will be live-blogging RIM's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, starting at 9:30 a.m. New York time:

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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