Report: Amazon Was Almost BlackBerry's White Knight

As RIM continues to stumble down the long stairway to oblivion, Reuters reports that the company had an unlikely suitor this summer that could have saved them: Amazon. Wait, what? Or more importantly... why?

The deal, obviously, didn't go through; RIM is still RIM and Amazon still has those hundreds of millions of dollars in its coffers. But what's interesting is that it seems like RIM was the party to ultimately reject the deal, opting instead to try to turn around the ship on its own. That's odd, isn't it? Given how much the beleaguered handset maker would have to gain from financial stability and an unparalleled distribution channels provided by Amazon? And how seemingly little Amazon would gain from towing a sinking ship?

Reuters doesn't speculate as to what Amazon saw in RIM, but there are a few possibilities that come to mind. Both companies have strong cloud presences, so maybe there's synergy there. Maybe Amazon has been emboldened enough by its Kindle Fire success that it wants to venture into smartphones as well. Maybe the siren call of BBM is just too great. Or maybe they were just visiting the lot, took one kick at the tires, and realized they were looking at a lemon.

Still, Amazon and RIM are "discussing ways to expand their commercial ties," according Reuters. Which, if you're RIM, discuss harder. Because you only get so many life vests thrown at you before people are happy just to let you drown. [Reuters]