RIM says licensing BlackBerry 10 is ‘conceivable’

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion could license out its new smartphone operating system, BlackBerry 10, to rival hardware manufacturing companies.

Speaking to German newspaper Die Welt, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins said the company had not ruled out licensing RIM’s upcoming operating system to other device manufacturers.

"Before you licensed the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential," Heins told the paper on Monday. "First we have to fulfil our promises. If such proof, a licensing is conceivable."

Speaking about RIM’s future, Heins said BBX was a "true mobile computing platform" designed to serve its 80 million users in the long term.

"We have taken the time to build a platform that is future-proof for the next ten years," he said. "Our aim is not only to smartphones, but also to the use, for example, in cars that will be in the future increasingly networked.We see with BlackBerry 10 completely new areas of growth."

Heins said RIM visited more than 100 network operators to introduce the new operating system. Due for release on 30 January, he told the paper BBX will play a "substantial" role in the market and strengthen the Blackberry brand.

The CEO also said the company had moved beyond the perception that its products are purely for use by business users, pointing to the popularity of its BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) service in the UK.

Last month, the number BlackBerry subscribers fell for the first time in the company’s history. According to research firm Gartner, RIM had 2.1% overall market share during the third quarter of last year.

While RIM is planning to launch six new handsets running BBX throughout 2013, licensing the operating system for inclusion on devices by rival handset makers may provide the company with an opportunity to grow the platform and reach a greater number of users.

Microsoft, which licensed the use of its Windows Phone 7 and 8 mobile operating systems to other device manufactures, edged RIM in terms of market share for the first time in Europe in December last year.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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