RIM is seriously considering licensing out its upcoming BlackBerry OS 10 to other manufacturers. If this happens, it would be a great shift for the Canadian company, which has always built all the hardware running its mobile operating system.
But after a couple of very bad years, with continuously shrinking market share, RIM seems ready for a change of sorts. It’s probably hoping that this would bring some much needed attention to its platform, especially after BB10 has been delayed for so long (it’s now expected to arrive early next year).
RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins (pictured above) spoke to The Telegraph and had this to say:
“We don’t have the economy of scale to compete against the guys who crank out 60 handsets a year. We have to differentiate and have a focused platform. To deliver BB10 we may need to look at licensing it to someone who can do this at a way better cost proposition than I can do it. There’s different options we could do that we’re currently investigating.”
RIM could build a ‘reference system’ and then licensing that reference design to other companies who’d build hardware around it. This is just an option being considered at this point, mind. RIM hasn’t announced that it will certainly do this. But the company is flexible and such things are actively being discussed. Heins is also waiting for financial advisers to tell him if this would make sense for the company from a financial perspective, and no doubt that whatever he hears from them will be influencing the final decision on this.
Although a long time in the making, Heins said that BB10 is a once in a decade change, and it will surprise most people when it launches. For the sake of the Canadian company, let’s all hope so.
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