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Research in Motion ready to license BB10 to third party manufacturers

14 Aug 2012

Research in Motion (RIM) is on the cusp of licensing its new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system to other manufacturers, according to reports.

Bloomberg reported that RIM's chief executive Thorsten Heins confirmed the company is in the final stages of testing its BB10 operating system and is considering ways to market it for use on other companies' products.

"QNX is already licensed across the automotive sector - we could do that with BB10 if we chose to," said Heins.

"The platform can be licensed."

Rumours spread earlier in August that RIM was contemplating licensing its software to competitors in a bid to reverse its ailing fortunes, when the Telegraph reported Heins making similar comments.

The company has suffered a series of setbacks over the last few years, losing increasing chunks of its smartphone market share to competitors like Apple and Samsung.

RIM's poor performance has led to a number of shifts within the company's upper management.

The chaos in RIM's upper echelons has caused speculation that a number of companies, including Samsung and IBM, are considering purchasing the company.

Ovum principal analyst, Tony Cripps, told V3 he wasn't sure licensing its software would help RIM in the long run, even if it looked like the firm's only option for the future.

"Right now, RIM's greatest hope for licensing BB10 looks to be the existing licensees for QNX - which provides the technical underpinnings for BB10 - including a number of high-profile automotive customers," he said.

"But there is little guarantee that these will provide enough of a draw for application and content developers whose resources and loyalties are already spread thin across device OS's with much broader applicability and already huge installed bases."

At the time of writing RIM had not responded to V3's request for comment on the reports.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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