RIM CEO: BlackBerry 10 Licensing Is Possible

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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RIM will consider licensing BlackBerry 10 if launch is succesful, according to Thorsten Heins

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has admitted that the company is open to the idea of licensing its upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system to other manufacturers or even selling off its handset business entirely.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, Heins said that any licensing programme would be dependent on BlackBerry 10 having a successful launch – and he is still convinced that the new OS will succeed.

“Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has great potential. First we have to fulfil our promises,” Heins is quoted as saying. “Licensing is conceivable.”

BlackBerry 10 licensing

When asked whether there was room for another operating system in the smartphone market, Heins said that BlackBerrystill had 80 million users worldwide that it didn’t want to leave stranded in no man’s land. He added that BlackBerry 10 would play a “substantial” role in the market going forward.

Heins said that the reason BlackBerry 10 had taken so long to develop was because “we have taken the time to build a platform that is future-proof for the next ten years.”RIM sees uses for it beyond smartphones, he added, such as networked cars and other “completely new areas of growth,” that meant it would make sense to license it to other manufacturers.

The perpetually delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system is seen as vital to RIM’s future after seeing its share of the smartphone market eroded by rivals such as Apple and Samsung. The first smartphones running the platform are due to be unveiled later this month.

RIM remains optimistic that the platform can revive its fortunes. Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise products at RIM, told TechWeekEurope that it would offer administrators “a set of tools that don’t exist on any other platform.”

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