Will BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion sell all or part of its business this year? The speculation has been humming around RIM’s plans, as it tries to plot a comeback in the smartphone market against stiff competition from iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Yesterday saw Samsung fingered as a likely buyer, before the company tried to squash the rumours. Boy Genius Report started the fires burning with its claim that Samsung was “the front runner” to buy RIM, quoting a source as saying of RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie that “Jim is going hard after Samsung” waving a $12bn-$15bn price tag.

Embarrassingly for RIM, though, Samsung soon went on the record with a flat denial. “We haven’t considered acquiring the firm and are not interested,” spokesperson James Chung told Reuters. He also said that RIM had not approached Samsung offering to sell up.

Hardball negotiations? Perhaps. In separate news – well, rampant speculation really – BlackBerry specialist site N4BB claims that RIM is working on two new PlayBook tablets, with seven and 10-inch screens respectively.