RIM again floats idea of licensing BlackBerry OS

RIM sounds closer than ever to partnering with former competitors to expand BlackBerry’s reach beyond its stagnant U.S. user base.

After Research in Motion launches BlackBerry 10 in early 2013, your next BlackBerry device could come from HTC, LG, Samsung or Sony. RIM is once again talking about licensing its touch-centric BlackBerry OS reboot to other manufacturers. The idea of BlackBerry software licensing has been bandied about ever since RIM CEO Thorsten Heins took control of the company in January. But in recent weeks, RIM has sounded closer than ever to partnering with former competitors to expand BlackBerrys reach beyond its stagnant U.S. user base.

QNX [the software company RIM acquired in 2010] is already licensed across the automotive sector --we could do that with BB10 if we chose to, Heins told Bloomberg. The platform can be licensed. Earlier in August, Heins told The Telegraph in London that RIM was investigating a licensing model, but that it was way too early to get into any details. Soon after Heins spoke with the Telegraph, an analyst speculated that RIM might license its software to Samsung and that the companies were negotiating such a deal, a rumor that Samsung quickly denied.

Nevertheless, speculation that BlackBerry 10 could be licensed to other manufacturers continues to surface, often sparked by comments from RIMs own CEO. The company hasnt committed to licensing yet, but its a long time until we see BlackBerry 10. Before then, we expect to see a new iPhone, new Android devices, and an enterprise-ready version of Windows Phone.

Thats bad news for RIM, which has already slipped to 10.7 percent of all U.S. smartphone users down from 17.2 percent in January, according to metrics firm comScore. To survive yet another wave of new smartphones, the company may have no choice but to offer BlackBerry software and services on non-BlackBerry devices.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter andGoogle+, and with Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?