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Tickers in this Article: AAPL, GOOG, MSFT, RIMM, IBM, NOK, FB
Following Benzinga's story on Wednesday about Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM)shedding jobs, as well as the story Louis Bedigian wrote suggesting RIMM should sell BlackBerry and call it quits, it has been revealed on Thursday that RIMM investors now consider a sale as the best option.

It is being reported that the investors have sat and watched as management have tried and failed with various attempts to turn the company around, and they have now had enough.

RIMM announced earlier in the week that it has hired JP Morgan Chase and RBC Capital to aid with the search for a partner or license its software, but insiders don't believe that will be enough to save the company and, now, it looks as if the end is near.

Investor Vic Alboini, chairman of Jaguar Financial, said on Bloomberg that, "We would like to see a sale of the company or a breakup, and if a breakup, the sale of each of the parts."

While the official line from RIMM is that it is looking into "strategic business model alternatives", investors and analysts seem to agree that a company doesn't generally hire a bank unless it is seriously considering a sale.

CEO Thorsten Heins certainly hasn't ruled a sale out though he did say that he is not focusing on that scenario, a stance that RIMM recently reiterated. But it would seem that unrest within the company's investors may force Heins' hand.

So the question is, who would be interested in buying Research in Motion? Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) would have to be the leader, as that company would surely relish the opportunity to compete against Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) in the smartphone market.

There are also thoughts that Nokia (NYSE: NOK) might be interested, while Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is a possibility but would have to be seen as an outsider at this stage, although stranger things have happened. After an incredibly difficult week, Facebook might well be looking for a move that would ease investors' fears.

Analysts have been very vocal with the opinion that FB will fail because it doesn't actually make or manufacture anything. While that point of view may be outdated in the internet age, the purchase of a tech company might silence those critics. More likely though, it would be seen as a panic buy.

Most eyes will be on IBM (NYSE: IBM) and MSFT.

Follow me @BCallwood.

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